Report: Cops Kill Hundreds of Disabled Americans Every Year

The American Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus brief arguing that hundreds of disabled Americans are killed in police encounters every year. It was filed in support of a mentally ill woman suing police for shooting her five times.

In the case of San Francisco v. Sheehan, Teresa Sheehan argued that police shot her five times even though she was experiencing a “psychiatric emergency.” The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case on Monday.

Sheehan argued that when police came to her room in a group home in 2008 to take her to a hospital, they violated her Fourth Amendment rights and her rights under the American Disabilities Act (ADA). Sheehan’s home aide called police to take her to a hospital for an evaluation after he noticed she had stopped taking her medication, stopped eating and hadn’t changed her clothes in a few days.

During the police encounter, Sheehan threatened officers with a knife. The interaction escalated and police ended up shooting her five times. She survived and consequently sued the city. At issue for the nation’s highest court is whether and how the ADA applies to interactions between police and people with disabilities.

The case comes amid an increasing number of news stories about police officer-involved shootings of people with mental illness, many of whom are people of color. Body camera footage just released showed Jason Harrison, a mentally ill black man in Dallas, Texas, was shot by police after his family called for help and Harrison threatened officers with a screwdriver.

Earlier this month, Los Angeles police killed a homeless black man, Africa, who had told a friend that he had spent ten years in a psychiatric facility. And on January 5, police killed a North Carolina teenager, Keith Vidal, whose family had called for help as he was in a “psychiatric emergency.” He also threatened police with a screwdriver.

Police departments hiring immigrants as officers

Law enforcement agencies struggling to fill their ranks or connect with their increasingly diverse populations are turning to immigrants to fill the gap.

Most agencies in the country require officers or deputies to be U.S. citizens, but some are allowing immigrants who are legally in the country to wear the badge. From Hawaii to Vermont, agencies are allowing green-card holders and legal immigrants with work permits to join their ranks.

At a time when 25,000 non-U.S. citizens are serving in the U.S. military, some feel it’s time for more police and sheriff departments to do the same. That’s why the Nashville Police Department is joining other departments to push the state legislature to change a law that bars non-citizens from becoming law enforcement officers.

Department spokesman Don Aaron said they want immigrants who have been honorably discharged from the military to be eligible for service.

“Persons who have given of themselves in the service to this country potentially have much to offer Tennesseans,” he said. “We feel that … would benefit both the country and this city.”

Current rules vary across departments.

Some, like the Chicago and Hawaii police departments, allow any immigrant with a work authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to become an officer. That means people in the country on temporary visas or are applying for green cards can join.

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Justin Mullins said the department usually struggles to fill trooper positions in less populous corners of the state, including patrol sectors high up in the mountains. He said immigrants from Canada, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Central America who are willing to live in those remote places have helped the agency fill those vacancies.

Protesters shoot 2 cops outside Ferguson Police Department

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Two officers were shot in front of the Ferguson Police Department early Thursday, authorities said, as demonstrators gathered after the resignation of the city’s police chief in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report alleging bias in the police department and court.

A 32-year-old officer from nearby Webster Groves was shot in the face and a 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County was shot in the shoulder, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference. Both were taken to a hospital, where Belmar said they were conscious. He said he did not have further details about their conditions but described their injuries as “serious.”

“I don’t know who did the shooting, to be honest with you,” Belmar said, adding that he could not provide a description of the suspect or gun.

He said his “assumption” was that, based on where the officers were standing and the trajectory of the bullets, “these shots were directed exactly at my officers.”

The shots were fired shortly after midnight as protesters were gathered following the resignation of embattled Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson on Wednesday. Before the shooting, some at the protest were chanting to show they weren’t satisfied with the resignations of Jackson and City Manager John Shaw earlier in the week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Authorities from multiple agencies had gathered outside of the department.

The protest was a familiar scene in Ferguson, which saw similar and much larger demonstrations after the shooting death of black 18-year-old Michael Brown last summer by city police officer Darren Wilson. When Wilson, who is white, was cleared in November by a state grand jury, the decision set off further protests, looting and fires. But Wednesday was the first time an officer at a protest had been shot.

Marciay Pitchford, 20, was among the protesters outside the police department. She told The Associated Press the protest had been mostly peaceful until she heard the shots ring out.

“I saw the officer go down and the other police officers drew their guns while other officers dragged the injured officer away,” Pitchford said. “All of a sudden everybody started running or dropping to the ground.”

Belmar said the shots were fired from across the street from the police department.

After the shooting, officers with guns and in riot gear circled the station, and more than a dozen squad cars blocked the street.

By Jim Salter – Associated Press – Washington Times –

Armed Patriots Stand With Bosworth Against Feds!

As you may have seen repeatedly across your newsfeeds and televisions the imagery of President Barack Obama walking the Selma bridge commemorating that historic moment when Martin Luther King led thousands to face off against police who would fire tear gas and beat them with clubs… all because they desired the right to vote.

That historical moment was 50 years ago… now… flash forward…Spokane Washington, the Federal Courthouse:

A story that wasn’t celebrated by the media – where no dignitaries cared to stand for a photo-op. instead American snipers would train their barrels on fellow Americans – Americans who chose to stand their ground and draw a line in the sand on friday March 6th 2015… it was a rally for the right to bear arms.

The rally was a response to the arrest of Anthony Bosworth a week earlier. He was arrested in front of his family, interrogated like a domestic terrorist then later released WITHOUT CHARGE because he had broken no laws. All because he had an unloaded rifle on his back.

A group calling themselves “LIBERTY FOR ALL” decided this would not stand and organized the Rally. However they would take it one step further… they would hold the rally at the courthouse – with loaded rifles.

According to Kit Lange, of the Patrick Henry Society, the rally was monitored by DHS helicopters, and undercover agents under the cold crosshairs of DHS snipers.

By Gary Franchi – Next News –

US and Tennessee Terrorist Camps have launched Jihad

2/20/2015 – They are in your neighborhood. They walk the streets with you. They shop, dine and eat with you.

They have launched Jihad for years, bombed, murdered and defrauded many Americans inside the USA and it has gone largely unnoticed by it’s inhabitants.

Known terrorists have infiltrated our nation, bought up rural farms, gathered loyal followers and are training for Jihad against you and your family….

Jamaat Al Fukra, MOA, and Soldiers of Allah have moved into the neighborhood and just happen to be one of the most feared terrorist groups in existence. They are led by Islamic Terrorist Sheikh Mubarack Al Gilani from his headquarters in Hancock NY and his home in Lahore Pakistan.

Gilani has known ties to Hamas, The Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Osama Bin Laden and Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman (The blind Sheikh) and many others.

Jamaat Al Faruq, Muslims Of America camps are spread all over the US and in Tennessee.

These groups have an extremely violent recent past that includes mass fire-bombings, murder, bank robberies, fraud and weapons charges.

The FBI, DHS, State Department and the local police have been watching this group for years, have arrested many and provided surveillance of property for years. In recent years they have backed off and this is very concerning. With the following statements made by various federal agencies I am very surprised they are not US enemy number one.

1n 1998 the State Department provided a Patterns of Global Terrorism report on Jamaat Al Faruq that described them as an “Islamic sect that seeks to purify Islam through violence.”

In 2007 an FBI record that was recently declassified in May 2013 said this about Al Faruq in File number 199M-HO-61310

“The MOA is now an autonomous organization which possesses an infrastructure capable of planning and mounting terrorist campaigns overseas and within the U.S.”

By Bradley County News –

Police officers sue, say they were forced to meet ticket quotas

Six Whittier [California] police officers are suing the city, saying they faced retaliation when they complained and refused to meet alleged ticket and arrest quotas.

City Manager Jim Collier and Whittier police spokesman Officer John Scoggins declined to comment and said they had not seen the lawsuit.

“The lawsuit is unfortunate and the city will determine the best course of action once an analysis of the lawsuit is completed,” Collier said.

The officers say the alleged ticket and arrest quotas continue to this day.

The alleged retaliation started after the officers said they complained to their supervisors and the police department’s Internal Affairs Division, the suit claims.

After complaining about quotas, the officers faced a series of disciplinary actions including counseling sessions, unwarranted transfers, increased scrutiny and disparaging comments, the lawsuit said….

The officers said they “spoke out not only for the rights of themselves and their fellow officers, but also for the rights of the public by speaking out against what they believed to be an unlawful citation and arrest quota.”

Imposing arrest and ticket quotas on police officers violates California Vehicle Codes section 41600. The codes makes it illegal for any state or local agency to force officers to meet a certain number of citations or arrests for promotion or disciplinary purposes….

By Veronica Rocha – LA Times –

Attacker killed After Trying To Board Airplane In U.S.

A 41-year-old Ohio man armed with several knives tried to buy a plane ticket with a fake ID before being gunned down by police after lunging at an officer with a blade outside the Columbus airport, police said.

Hashim Hanif Ibn Abdul-Rasheed had parked illegally outside the ticketing terminal and was acting bizarrely as he tried to buy a ticket to an undisclosed location Wednesday afternoon. He showed off a woman’s ID to try and make the buy at one point before he was rebuffed, cops said.

Airport police called a tow truck to remove the illegally parked vehicle from the departures lane just before 1 p.m. Wednesday when Abdul-Rasheed returned.

“The man initially spoke with the officer then suddenly produced a knife and lunged at the officer, attempting to stab him,” the Port Columbus International Airport said in a statement. “The officer fired at the suspect, who momentarily dropped to the ground and then got back up and continued advancing towards the officer. A backup officer responded at which point the suspect quickly moved towards him with the knife forcing the officer to retreat backwards towards the terminal entrance where a third officer was positioned. The third officer shot multiple times, striking the suspect, ending the attack.”

BY Sasha Goldstein – New York Daily News –

US House majority opposes Obama’s AR-15 ammo ban

3/5/2015 – A majority of House lawmakers now are on record opposing the Obama administration’s proposed ban on ammunition commonly used in AR-15 rifles.

A total of 239 lawmakers, including seven Democrats, have signed a letter to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director Todd Jones urging the agency to abandon the proposed ammo ban.

“Under no circumstances should ATF adopt a standard that will ban ammunition that is overwhelmingly used by law-abiding Americans for legitimate purposes,” the lawmakers wrote Wednesday. Among them was Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said this week that President Obama supports the move because he believes a prohibition on armor-piercing bullets will save the lives of law-enforcement officers. The ATF said in a report that newer handguns are capable of firing the ammo, which is primarily used in rifles for target practice or hunting game.

But the lawmakers and others who track Second Amendment issues say the steel-tipped, .223 caliber M855 ammunition has not been used in any fatal shootings of police officers. Opponents are concerned that the proposal is a backdoor effort by the administration to eliminate the use of AR-15 rifles, and many police officers also oppose the ban.

By Dave Boyer – The Washington Times –

Poll: Race relations deteriorate on Obama’s watch

3/6/2015 – A day ahead of President Obama’s trip to Selma to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, a new poll shows that nearly half of Americans believe race relations have worsened over the course of his presidency.

Thirty-nine percent believe relations between blacks and whites have worsened since Mr. Obama took office, while 15 percent say race relations have improved and 45 percent say they have stayed the same, according to the CNN/ORC poll. Forty-five percent of whites and 26 percent of blacks think they have worsened.

The survey of 1,027 American adults was conducted Feb. 12-15 — before a Department of Justice report released this week found systemic racial discrimination in the Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department. The Justice Department also announced that it would not bring federal civil rights charges against white police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of black 18-year-old Michael Brown last summer in a case that ignited widespread protests and renewed debates over relations between law enforcement and the African-American community, as well as police militarization in the country.

Mr. Obama said in a new radio interview that while he doesn’t think the situation in Ferguson is typical, it’s not isolated, either.

“I don’t think that is typical of what happens across the country but it’s not an isolated incident,” he said in an interview on Sirius XM’s “Urban View” with Joe Madison.

“I think there are circumstances in which trust between communities and law enforcement have broken down, and individuals or entire departments may not have the training or the accountability to make sure that they are protecting and serving all people and not just some,” he said….

Fifty-one percent of people in the CNN/ORC poll said they believe the Voting Rights Act remains necessary to make sure that blacks are allowed to vote, while 47 percent say it’s no longer needed. More than three-quarters of blacks say it is necessary, compared to 48 percent of whites who say so.

Fifty percent think the nation’s criminal justice system favors whites over blacks and 42 percent believe it treats both equally. Again, those numbers were split along racial lines: 76 percent of African-Americans say the system favors whites, compared to 42 percent of whites who think so.

By David Sherfinski – The Washington Times –

Protesters to shut down Homan Square in Chicago Saturday

Nationwide opposition to the Chicago Police’s secret detention facility known as Homan Square is growing rapidly.

It was revealed last week that the CPD is using CIA-like tactics on suspected criminals and American dissidents — denying them of due process and basic rights.

Since then, a massive movement to shut down Homan Square has grown online and in Chicago, as well as around the country.

Several hundred concerned residents of Chicago brought Homan Square to a standstill over the weekend, and as many as 1,500 or more are expected to shut it down this coming Saturday. The event will take place at Homan Square at 12:00 pm CST. More info here.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, activists who are seeking justice over the LAPD’s violent slaying of a man known as Africa, are also holding a protest on Saturday at 12 pm PST at the LAPD headquarters. More info on that event can be found….

By Nick Bernabe – Activist Post –

Texas Town Sees 61% Drop in Crime After Kicking Out Cops

In 2012, Sharpstown, a community of 66,000 located just southwest of Houston, declined to renew its contract with the constable’s office, essentially dismissing its cops.

Instead, the Sharpstown Civic Association hired SEAL Security Solutions, a private firm, to patrol their streets.

“Since we’ve been in there, an independent crime study that they’ve had done [indicates] we’ve reduced the crime by 61% in just 20 months,” James Alexander, Director of Operations for SEAL, told guns.com

The private security firm places its officers on continuous patrol in their assigned neighborhoods, as opposed to the strategy of intermittent presence that the constable embraced….

SEAL also relies heavily on crime statistics when it designs its patrol efforts.

“The second thing that drastically reduces the crime is that we do directed patrols, meaning we don’t just put an officer out there and say ‘here, go patrol,’” he said. “We look at recent crime stats, and we work off of those crime stats. So if we have hotspots in those areas say for that month, we focus and concentrate our efforts around those hotspots.”

When asked to compare traditional law enforcement to the SEAL model, Alexander explained:

“Law enforcement officers are trained to be reactive. They’re out there to run calls, they’re running one call to another, so they’re reacting to something that’s already happened. Private security, the way that we train our guys, is more proactive, meaning that we’re in the community proactively patrolling to prevent those crimes.”

Not only has SEAL been more successful at preventing crime in Sharpstown than traditional law enforcement, they are cheaper. Sharpstown is saving $200,000 per year over their previous contract with the constable, and they get more patrol officers for less money, guns.com reported….

From Sputnik News –

Obama to Expand Federal Control Over State, Local Police

The Obama administration released a plan to expand federal control over state and local law enforcement.

The plan released Monday, entitled Task Force on 21st Century Policing, advocates the federalization of police agencies across the country by forcing them to adhere to stricter requirements when they receive federal funding.

“The U.S. Department of Justice, through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services [COPS] and Office of Justice Programs, should provide technical assistance and incentive funding to jurisdictions with small police agencies that take steps towards shared services, regional training, and consolidation,” one of the numerous recommendations in the plan stated.

The plan also calls for the feds to collect more law enforcement data.

“…There is a lack of uniformity in data collection throughout law enforcement, and only patchwork methods of near real-time information sharing exist,” the plan stated in a section advocating “national standards” for law enforcement technologies. “These problems are especially critical in light of the threats from terrorism and cybercrime.”

President Obama said that most of the plan’s recommendations “are directed at the 18,000 law enforcement jurisdictions that are out there….”

By Kit Daniels – Prison Planet –

Minnesota: Police Wear Body Cams, No One Can See Footage

From the one-way-surveillance-and-zero-accountability department:

More cities and states are getting behind the idea that outfitting their law enforcement officers with body cameras will result in better policing and more accountability. Unfortunately, many of them then follow this moment of clarity by gutting the “accountability” part of the programs.

Los Angeles law enforcement agencies will only turn over camera footage if it’s part of a criminal or civil suit. Florida legislators are pushing for additional exceptions in the state’s open records laws specifically for body camera footage and specifically at the request of the state’s police union.

Minnesota seems to be taking the same route. The state wants its law enforcement officers to wear cameras but some legislators don’t feel the public should have access to the footage. A bill supported by the state’s law enforcement aims to keep as many recordings out of the public’s hands as possible.

The bill states:

[A]udio and video data captured by a portable video recording system that is not part of an active or inactive criminal investigation must be destroyed within 90 days of the date the data were captured, unless the data subject, or any peace officer identifiable by the data, submits a written request to the law enforcement agency to retain the data for possible use in a future proceeding related to the circumstances under which the data were originally collected. Any law enforcement agency that receives a request to retain data shall retain it for a reasonable time, based upon the likelihood of its future use and the agency’s policies for retention. Peace officers who are identifiable by portable video recording system data shall have unrestricted access to the data while it is retained and must be permitted to make copies.

It seems reasonable… until you realize what it’s allowing law enforcement agencies to do. Anything retained by these agencies will only be accessible to civilians in the recording, and then only by request. Alleged misconduct that is cleared by law enforcement oversight will move affected recordings into the “destroy” pile, which means agencies can start deleting potentially damning footage almost immediately….

By Tim Cushing – Tech Dirt –

Ohio Supreme Court: Gun Penalties Don’t Apply To Cops

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a specification in the law that provides stiffer penalties for people who use a gun in commission of a crime cannot be applied to a police officer convicted of wrongdoing while performing his duty.

In a split decision, the court held that Ohio’s firearms specification was intended to deter criminals from using firearms while committing an offense and not to deter police officers from carrying a firearm while on duty.

The case involved an Ottawa Hills police officer, Thomas White, who shot a motorcyclist he had pulled over for a traffic stop, leaving him paralyzed.

By Robert Higgs – The Liberty Crier –

Arizona Internet Attack Was Beta Test for Martial Law

At approximately noon on February 25, 2015, the Internet went down in a wide swath ranging from just north of Phoenix stretching to Flagstaff., Arizona. Internet service was restored the following day around 1pm local time.

The very first reports I received about the outage, coming out of Wickenburg and Prescott, was that the ISP from Century Link went down because a car crashed into a transformer. Shortly after that, reports stated that a construction crew hit a power line causing Internet service to go down. From the Phoenix media, we now know that this was the work of “vandals” who discovered where cables, buried several feet underground,were located in the midst of rough terrain. These “vandals” subsequently cut through the Internet cables which were inches to a foot thick and this was the cause this massive outage.

The event had a crippling effect on local communities from central to northern Arizona.

-911 service and the communications of first responders were taken down.
-Point of sale debit/credit card transactions could not be initiated due to the outage.
-ATM’s did not work.
-Banks were not able to access their computers and were forced to issue paper receipts for any deposit.
-All cell phone providers were inoperable except for Verizon Wireless.
-Most cable companies were not able to carry programming (e.g. Phoenix TV stations) due to the takedown of live streaming. The same was also true for many radio stations.

In short, businesses, schools and personal lives were totally disrupted. Yet, the national coverage afforded to this major event was negligible as I discovered after calling friends and colleagues from across the country to gauge their reaction. As of yesterday afternoon, most people had not heard about this event. I am not surprised as similar events transpired in both Florida and Oklahoma, AT THE SAME TIME! Steve Quayle shared….”We dropped internet here in NW Oklahoma (outside Woodward) about mid-day yesterday as well. It happened twice….”

The media has been very uniform in describing this act as the work of “vandals”….the implied use of the word “vandal” is designed to indicate that whomever attacked these cables, presumably owned by Century Link, were amateurs who were engaged in some kind of prank. As I investigated further, it became clear that this was a well-coordinated and well planned attack by persons with expertise related to the attack. Further, whomever did this had to have had specialized equipment to cut through these cables. The simple act of just finding where these cables were, required specialized knowledge….

I reside only seven miles south of the impacted area. I have learned from some locals that accessing the sight of the crime is not possible. Security personnel, without any identifying insignias, were in place and were turning unauthorized people back. I have been told that this was not a typical crime scene and until late yesterday afternoon, this had become a highly secure area.

….[T]here are two programs designed to round up people who are viewed as a danger to the status quo. The two operations are labeled “Operation BOA”, as in boa constrictor, and “Operation Lightening Strike”. I have some operational details, but at this point they are still sketchy. Suffice it to say that Operation Lightening is the 3AM round up of all perceived dissident journalists and even some local politicians. This will be accomplished on a single night of terror. Operation BOA is a more deliberate process and will focus on more non-media threats such as outspoken veterans, gun rights activists, etc.Martial law will not be called martial law…. Both Steve Quayle and I agree that we are witnessing the introduction of the “Red List” strategy. What happened in Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma was a martial law preparation beta test designed to simultaneously take down communications. Why would DHS want to take down communications? When the Red List roundups begin under Operation Lightening Strike, the powers that be do not want to allow their intended round up targets to be able to warn each other. Further, the crash of the ATM’s and point of sale transactions limits one’s ability to go on the run.

What happened over a three state region was not the actions of “vandals”. This was a highly coordinated and sophisticated attack upon certain aspects of our grid designed to take down communications and commerce…. in preparation for martial law. The only question which truly remains is how far away are we from complete implementation of this operation?

By Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show –

Sudan Aids Muslim Investors Take Last Piece Of Church Land

JUBA, South Sudan (Morning Star News) – The Sudanese government today helped Muslim investors take over the remaining property of Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church in Khartoum North, church leaders said.

Riot police on two trucks arrived at the church property at noon and assisted in the seizure of the land by force.

“Over the past year they have aided another Muslim businessman to seize a piece of the land, and today they are taking the only piece of land left for the church,” a church leader who requested anonymity told Morning Star News.

The take-over comes less than a month after the government seized another Christian facility in Khartoum.

The church is appealing to Christians worldwide to pray for them.

“We are asking all of you to pray for our situation in Sudan,” another church leader said. “Oh God, have mercy upon us.”

On Oct. 5, 2013, Sudan’s police and security forces broke through the church fence and beat and arrested Christians in the compound, asserting parts of the property belonged to a Muslim investor accompanying them. As Muslims nearby shouted, “Allahu Akbar [God is greater],” plainclothes police ….

Church leaders hold ownership papers to the property and believe any contract surrendering it comes from a government ruse.

Harassment, arrests and persecution of Christians have intensified since the secession of South Sudan in 2011, when President Omar al-Bashir vowed to adopt a stricter version of sharia (Islamic law) and recognize only Islamic culture and the Arabic language.

The Sudanese Minister of Guidance and Endowments announced in April 2013 that no new licenses would be granted for building new churches in Sudan, citing a decrease in the South Sudanese population.

Sudan since 2012 has expelled foreign Christians and bulldozed church buildings on the pretext that they belonged to South Sudanese. Besides raiding Christian bookstores and arresting Christians, authorities threatened to kill South Sudanese Christians who do not leave or cooperate with them in their effort to find other Christians.

From the Religious Freedom Coalition –

Domestic Black Sites Now Operational

For nearly two decades alternative media has warned of government internment camps where citizens would be disappeared, detained and tortured with no regard for their rights. For nearly two decades the notion has been dismissed by the general population as just another conspiracy theory.

But a new report out of Chicago suggests that not only are such facilities real, they have now been actively integrated into the nation’s law enforcement apparatus.

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

“Homan Square is definitely an unusual place,” [Brian Jacob]Church told the Guardian on Friday. “It brings to mind the interrogation facilities they use in the Middle East. The CIA calls them black sites. It’s a domestic black site. When you go in, no one knows what’s happened to you.”

According to those who have been detained at the site against their will and absent their natural and constitutional rights, the Chicago facility is exactly what you might expect from a government run internment and detention center.

◾Family members and attorneys are unable to locate a detainee because those arrested and sent to the black site are never entered into booking databases. They are simply “disappeared.”
◾Detainees are beaten by police in what can only be described as torture.
◾Access to phone calls and judges are restricted so once you are in there is no way to call for help to let anyone know you are there
◾Attorneys are denied access because the site has been deemed a high security facility
◾People are regular shackled for extended periods of time

Keep in mind that the people in these facilities, because they are never sent through proper booking channels, are being held without charge or trial, a gross violation of the U.S. Constitution.

We’ve previously warned that these are exactly the kind of scenarios that would result from anti-terrorism legislation like The Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act….

By Mac Slavo – D.C. Clothesline –

FBI Raids Republic of Texas Meeting – Common Law Court

The Bryan Police Department, the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office, Agents of the Texas District Attorney, the Texas Rangers and the FBI raided a congressional meeting for the Republic of Texas held in Bryan, Texas.

More than 20 police and agents prevented the members from leaving, seized their cellphones, recording equipment, computers and fingerprinted them.

The raid was in response to to legal summons sent by Republic of Texas members to a Kerr County judge and bank employee. The organization demanded the judge and bank employee appear before Republic of Texas court held at the Veterans and Foreign Wars building in Bryan on the day the police raided the meeting.

State and federal officials say the chief justice of the international Common Law Court for the Republic of Texas had issued writs of quo warranto, mandamus and a subpoena not recognized by county, state and federal governments.

“You can’t just let people go around filing false documents to judges trying to make them appear in front of courts that aren’t even real courts,” Kerr County sheriff Rusty Hierholzer told the Houston Chronicle.

The group believes the state of Texas was illegally annexed by the federal government and Texas remains an independent nation under occupation.

Police told the newspaper they did not want a repeat of a 1997 week-long standoff between the group and police.

The Republic of Texas group cites public opinion polls that show significant support for the secession of Texas and other states from the federal Union.

A poll conducted last September during the Scottish independence vote shows one in four Americans are in favor of seceding from the United States.

Former Congressman Ron Paul believes secession is already underway in the United States.

“I would like to start off by talking about the subject and the subject is secession and nullification, the breaking up of government, and the good news is it’s going to happen. It’s happening,” Paul said last month during a speech at the Mises Institute.

“And it’s not going to be because there will be enough people in the U.S. Congress to legislate it. It won’t happen. It will be defacto. You know, you’ll have a gold standard when the paper standard fails and we’re getting awfully close to that. And people will have to resort to taking care of themselves. So when conditions breakdown, there’s going to be an alternative. And I think that’s what we’re witnessing.”

By Kurt Nimmo – Infowars –

Muslim ‘Ring of Peace’ Around Synagogue Really A ‘Hoax’ ?

Some conservative news outlets have suggested that a public show of support for Norwegian Jews by a group of Muslims on Saturday was not exactly the “heartwarming” scene it appeared to be.

Breitbart described it as a “hoax” and a “complete fabrication by the mainstream media,” suggesting that few Muslims actually attended and that an anti-Semitic, 9/11 conspiracy theorist was one of those who organized what was described as a “ring of peace” around Oslo’s main synagogue.

But leading synagogue members who were at the rally told TheBlaze that it appeared that most of the attendees were in fact Norwegian Muslims, and that the Muslim organizer — who had previously articulated anti-Semitic statements — opened his remarks to the crowd by admitting he had been wrong, apologizing and saying that he now believes Jews and Muslims should live together peacefully and with mutual respect.

The rally was organized over the past week by several young Muslims as a show of support for Oslo’s Jews following a terrorist attack on a synagogue in neighboring Denmark the weekend before. The attack was carried out by a Danish citizen of Palestinian descent who killed a Jewish volunteer guard after earlier attacking a free speech event.

On Sunday, Breitbart, citing an item in FrontPage Magazine, reported that eyewitnesses had suggested only some 20 Muslims formed the “ring of peace,” and presented as evidence photos that showed the line of Muslims holding hands ending — suggesting there weren’t enough Muslims to form a full ring around the building.

Two members of the synagogue who were at the rally told TheBlaze by phone from Oslo Monday that the men and women holding hands did not encircle the synagogue because the police did not give them a permit to demonstrate behind the building….

By Sharona Schwartz – The Blaze –

US Police Kill Over 70 Times Rate of Other First-World Nations

In case you’ve been under a rock lately, it is becoming quite clear that police in the US can and will kill people, even unarmed people, even on video, and do so with impunity.

The tallying methods, or rather lack thereof, used by both the FBI and individual police departments to count the amount of people killed by police, have been shown to be staggeringly inaccurate.

However, this inability of the government to count the number of people it kills, has been met with multiple alternative means of calculating just how deadly the state actually is.

One of these citizen run databases, is the website www.killedbypolice.com. The site is basically a spreadsheet that lists every person killed by cops in the years 2013 and 2014. In addition to naming those killed, it also provides a link to media reports for each of the killings, age, sex and race if available.

The tally for 2014? 1,100 people killed by those sworn to protect. That is an average of three people a day.

Do not mistake this as saying that those who were killed were innocent. However, when we look at violent crime in this country, we can see that it is at an all time low.

While violence among citizens has dropped, violence against citizens carried out by police has been rising sharply.

When we look at citizens killed by police over the last two years, deaths have increased 44 percent in this short time; 763 people were killing by police in 2013.

As a comparison, the total number of US troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, in 2014 was 58.

Fewer soldiers were killed in war than citizens back home in “the land of the free” in 2014, by a large margin.

So why is that?

Is this some natural tendency of police in “free societies” to kill their citizens more, in an effort to maintain this freedom? Hardly, and hardly is the US a free country.

According to the 2014 Legatum Prosperity Index released in November, in the measure of personal freedom, the United States has fallen from 9th place in 2010 to 21st worldwide—behind such countries as Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Other such rankings systems show the US as low as 46.

Let’s look at our immediate neighbors to the north, Canada. The total number of citizens killed by law enforcement officers in the year 2014, was 14; that is 78 times less people than the US.

….China, whose population is 4 and 1/2 times the size of the United States, recorded 12 killings by law enforcement officers in 2014.

Let that sink in. Law enforcement in the US killed 92 times more people than a country with nearly 1.4 billion people.

It doesn’t stop there.

From 2013-2014, German police killed absolutely no one….

Unfortunately when officers do speak out against their own department they are met with horrid backlash from their peers.

The Free Thought Project is contacted regularly by police officers who know the system they uphold is completely corrupt, but they find it nearly impossible to call out the corruption…

By Matt Agorist – The Free Thought Project –

Vandals set fire at Florida church, spray-paint ‘Allahu Akbar’

A possible hate crime is under investigation after a fire was set at a Central Florida church, where vandals also spray-painted “Allahu Akbar.”

The incident happened around 3 a.m. Monday at the New Shiloh Christian Church in Melbourne on Sarno Road. About 1,500 members attend the church.

Melbourne police said officers and firefighters discovered the blaze after a fire alarm sounded. Arson was the expected cause, police said.

Fire sprinklers helped contain the flames to a storage unit connected to the 125,000-square-foot building.

The words “Allahu Akbar” were spray-painted on the storage unit. “Allahu Akbar” is an Arabic phrase typically translated as “God is great” and is a common expression used in various contexts.

….”To find something like that in 2015 is unbelievable. It’s just disheartening,” said New Shiloh Christian Church Bishop Jacquelyn Gordon. “They told us that this is definitely a hate crime and that they’re going to patrol our area even more and just look out for us and they thought it was senseless and I feel the same way.”

Police have not confirmed to Local 6[WKMG] that the case is being investigated as a hate crime, but say they are investigating the fire and vandalism as arson and criminal mischief.

“I would just say that everything is being looked at. All avenues are going to be explored. If it meets that criteria, that would be something that would be looked at,” said Lt. Cheryl Trainer.

Police told Local 6 they are hesitant to label the case as a hate crime because they don’t want to alarm the public. They said they will determine if the graffiti was done at the same time as the vandalism and arson to determine if it is, in fact, a hate crime. At this time they are calling it arson and criminal mischief….

By Daniel Dahm – ClickOrlando.com –

Copenhagen police kill ‘jihadi’ responsible for two attacks

Police in Copenhagen have shot dead a ‘jihadi’ gunman responsible for two attacks on the city in which a film director and Jewish security guard were killed yesterday.

The shooter, who has not been named, was killed after opening fire on officers surrounding the station in Norrebro at around 5am today.

Two men were killed in separate attacks at a free speech event and a synagogue yesterday.

Finn Norgaard has been named by local media as the 55-year-old killed at Krudttonden cafe in the north of the city.

Hours later, Dan Uzan, a 37-year-old Jewish security guard was shot in the head as he stood outside a building belonging to the city’s Great Synagogue.

Mr Uzan, who was protecting the entrance of a young girl’s Bat Mitzvah party of 80 people, died in hospital last night.

At 5am this morning police closed in on Norrebro metro station as the suspect emerged with a weapon.

He was killed in return fire after shooting at officers who had surrounding the area.

This afternoon police revealed the man had been identified.

‘We have knowledge of the man’s identity but due to the ongoing investigation we are not in a position to reveal (it),’ a police spokesman said today.

Asked whether the man belonged to any known terrorist groups, he added: ‘I cannot comment on whether he is connected to any known groups.

The man shot dead by police at 5am this morning is thought to have been responsible for the terror attacks across the city yesterday.

At around 4pm local time around 200 bullets were fired at Krudttonden cafe where an event on free speech was being held.

The reported intended target was the Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who has been known to draw the Prophet Mohammed as a dog.

Vilks, 68, escaped the attack, during which witnesses said the man, who has not yet been named, was shouting in Arabic.

Mr Norgaard was instead killed in the shooting. Friends and colleagues of the documentary maker told Danish news outlets that he was a peaceful person whose work had never focused on Islamic subjects.

Hours later a man, named by local Jewish communities as Dan Uzan, was shot in the head near the city’s Great Synagogue.

By Sophie J. Evans,Laurie Hanna,Flora Drury & Jennifer Smith – Daily Mail –

Racist Bloomberg: Young Black Men Should Not Own Guns

Anyone who has lived in New York City and seen the policies of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg can attest to the fact that the man is out of touch. Whether he is trying to tell people how much of a carbonated beverage they can drink, or promoting the racist “Stop and Frisk” policies of the New York City Police Department, Bloomberg consistently showed, during his tenure as mayor, that he lived in a world where only billionaires like himself mattered.

But now, during a lecture at the Aspen Institute on February 6th, the former mayor literally suggested banning African Americans and Latinos from owning guns… at least until they are much older than their Caucasian neighbors.

Michael Bloomberg is surrounded by private security guards who own and carry guns to protect him. They have been spotted illegally carrying weapons in Washington D.C. The mayor has refused to comment on why he is always surrounded by men with guns if he is so against gun ownership. But make no mistake, former mayor Bloomberg does not have a problem with guns, he has a problem with poor and so-called “minority” communities having the same access, at the same ages, to the firearms that affluent Caucasian communities do.

At first, Bloomberg suggested that young non-Caucasian males should be prevented from owning guns in general, as “an effort to reduce crime and to keep those minority males ‘alive,’” according to The Aspen Times.

Bloomberg even used the old mainstay of racists commenting on so-called minority communities, saying that having a gun is a joke to “these people.”

According to The Aspen Times, Bloomberg covered a number of topics, of which gun ownership was only one. They reported that as Bloomberg went on with his diatribe, he eased back, saying that minorities should only be banned from owning guns until their are 7 years older than their Caucasian neighbors….

By Jackson Marciana – Counter Current News –

Out of control cops point guns at 6-year-old

When is too much too much?

Is it really necessary for cops to point loaded guns at a 6-year-old?

….Shockingly Ridgeland Police threatened a couple’s 6-year-old ‘special needs’ child with loaded guns during a search Friday after showing up in an unmarked car looking for Carneigio M. Gray, 23, who was wanted on a failure to appear charge from 2012.

“My son was telling the police officers to stop, to not to do that. Please don’t hurt his uncle and that’s when the guns were drawn on him and my mother was telling them hey please don’t point your gun at my grand-baby. Please don’t do that.”, Said the boy’s mother, Angela Thompson Roby….

By Lexi Morgan – Intellihub –

Church Asks Followers to Submit to Government Totally

A church hosting a law enforcement appreciation sermon asked its followers to pledge their allegiance to government….

According to an anonymous visitor of the Gold Creek Community Church in Mill Creek, Washington, who provided exclusive photos to Infowars, attendees were ordered to submit to the state without question.

“They had police worship today and last week was military worship where they played clips of American Sniper…” the source said. “They were telling people to basically worship government and worship police no matter what. No mention of police brutality, no mention of the stingray systems grabbing our data…”

The church’s pastor, Dan Kellog, who is also reportedly a police chaplain, used the Romans 13 bible verse to justify his position. As noted by Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson,Romans 13 has long been used by authoritarian regimes to force compliance.

Romans 13 has routinely been cited by tyrants throughout history in an attempt to prevent Christians from opposing their rule, indeed, it was Hitler’s favorite bible verse,” Watson wrote. “Religious groups such as the Catholics in 1930’s Germany also used the verse as an excuse not to rise up against the Nazis when they were still a minority political party.”

….While working with law enforcement to create a safer community is a noble cause, the sermon made no mention of the duty of Americans to oppose and protest unconstitutional legislation and dictates.

The sermon’s content is eerily similar to a 2009 document passed out to churchgoers in Ohio that told Christians to support President Obama due to his status as “God’s minister.”

Since at least 2006, the Department of Homeland Security has used Romans 13 under a FEMA program to train pastors to become literal secret police. Pastors are tasked with teaching their congregations to submit to every government action including forced relocation under martial law.

During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, pastors operating under the “Clergy Response Team” program were used to quell dissent as police and military carried out unconstitutional gun confiscation.

By Mikael Thalen – Infowars –

Shoplifter receives compassion from police officer

The call went out to Police Officer Justin Roby — there was a suspected shoplifter at the Kroger grocery store in London, Kentucky, being held by the store’s loss-prevention officer.

But what typically is an open-and-shut scenario turned out to be anything but after Roby started talking to the detained man after he arrived on the scene last weekend.

The down-on-his luck single father was caught stealing baby formula for his six-month-old son who was with him at the store, Roby told WKYT-TV. The officer at the store didn’t want to press charges — and neither did Roby.

“Me citing him for court wouldn’t have done any good for him,” Roby told WKYT. “He’s already short on money, can’t afford formula, so me making him appear in court, he’s still not going to have any food for that baby.”

But that’s not the only merciful thing that happened: Roby bought the baby formula for the dad.

“You put yourself in the situations,” he told WKYT. “I think, ‘Well, what if me and my son, what if this was us?’”

Roby also made sure the dad knew that rather than shoplift he could seek organizations designed to help those in need like him.

By Dave Urbanski – The Blaze –

S.F. public defender arrested in courthouse for asserting client’s right to counsel in interrogation!

A San Francisco deputy public defender was handcuffed and arrested at the Hall of Justice after she objected to city police officers questioning her client outside a courtroom, an incident that her office called outrageous and police officials defended as appropriate.

The Tuesday afternoon arrest of attorney Jami Tillotson as she denied police officers’ attempts to take photos of her client without explanation raised questions about police intimidation and harassment, Public Defender Jeff Adachi said at a Wednesday news conference.

But police said the five officers, led by a plainclothes sergeant, were investigating a burglary case in which Tillotson’s client and his co-defendant were considered persons of interest. Tillotson was cited for misdemeanor resisting or delaying arrest because she obstructed a police investigation, officials said.

“I was arrested for what we do as public defenders every day,” Tillotson said of the encounter, which was captured in a video that the public defender’s office posted on YouTube. “I asked questions. I talked to my client and explained to him his rights. At that point, I was told I was interfering and taken into custody.”

Adachi said, “This is not Guantanamo Bay. You have an absolute right to have a lawyer with you when you’re questioned. Ms. Tillotson was simply doing her job.”

Tillotson’s client had just made an appearance in Department 17 on the second floor with a co-defendant for a misdemeanor theft charge when they left the courtroom and came under questioning by a plainclothes police officer at about 2 p.m., authorities said.

Other attorneys with the public defender’s office filmed the interaction, in which the plainclothes officer, Sgt. Brian Stansbury, told Tillotson, “I just want to take some pictures, OK, and he’ll be free to go.” When she declined his request, Stansbury said, “If you continue to do this, I will arrest you for resisting arrest.”

By Vivian Ho – SFGate.com –

DOJ to clear Ferguson Officer Wilson of charges

Justice Department lawyers will recommend that no civil rights charges be brought against the police officer who fatally shot an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., after an F.B.I. investigation found no evidence to support charges, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and his civil rights chief, Vanita Gupta, will have the final say on whether the Justice Department will close the case against the officer, Darren Wilson. But it would be unusual for them to overrule the prosecutors on the case, who are still working on a legal memo explaining their recommendation.

But a broader Justice Department civil rights investigation into allegations of discriminatory traffic stops and excessive force by the Ferguson Police Department remains open. That investigation could lead to significant changes at the department, which is overwhelmingly white despite serving a city that is mostly black….

Mr. Wilson resigned from the department in November, citing threats of violence against him and other officers. “It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal,” he said.

Mayor James Knowles III of Ferguson did not respond Wednesday afternoon to a voice mail message and email seeking comment about the broader federal investigation of his city’s police department. Jeff Small, a Ferguson spokesman, said city officials did not have any new information to share about either federal inquiry and would not comment on them….

By MATT APUZZO & MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT – New York Times –

Welcome To The Matrix: Enslaved By Technology & The Internet

If ever Americans sell their birthright, it will be for the promise of expediency and comfort delivered by way of blazingly fast Internet; cell phone signals that never drop a call; thermostats that keep us at the perfect temperature without our having to raise a finger; and entertainment that can be simultaneously streamed to our TVs, tablets, and cell phones.

Likewise, if ever we find ourselves in bondage, we will have only ourselves to blame for having forged the chains through our own lassitude, laziness, and abject reliance on internet-connected gadgets and gizmos that render us wholly irrelevant.

Indeed, while most of us are consumed with our selfies and trying to keep up with what our so-called friends are posting on Facebook, the megacorporation Google has been busily partnering with the National Security Agency (NSA), the Pentagon, and other governmental agencies to develop a new “human” species, so to speak.

In other words, Google—a neural network that approximates a global brain—is fusing with the human mind in a phenomenon that is called “singularity”; and they’ve hired transhumanist scientist Ray Kurzweil to do just that. Google will know the answer to your question before you have asked it, Kurzweil said. “It will have read every email you will ever have written, every document, every idle thought you’ve ever tapped into a search-engine box. It will know you better than your intimate partner does. Better, perhaps, than even yourself.”

But here’s the catch: the NSA and all other government agencies will also know you better than yourself. As William Binney, one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA said, “The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control.”

Science fiction, thus, has become fact.

We’re fast approaching Philip K. Dick’s vision of the future as depicted in the film Minority Report. There, police agencies apprehend criminals before they can commit a crime; driverless cars populate the highways; and a person’s biometrics are constantly scanned and used to track their movements, target them for advertising, and keep them under perpetual surveillance.

Cue the dawning of the Age of the Internet of Things, in which internet-connected “things” will monitor your home, your health, and your habits in order to keep your pantry stocked, your utilities regulated, and your life under control and relatively worry-free.

The key word here, however, is control.

In the not-too-distant future, “just about every device you have — and even products like chairs, that you don’t normally expect to see technology in — will be connected and talking to each other.”

By 2018, it is estimated there will be 112 million wearable devices such as smart watches, keeping users connected in real time to their phones, emails, text messages, and the Internet. By 2020, there will be 152 million cars connected to the Internet and 100 million Internet-connected bulbs and lamps. By 2022, there will be 1.1 billion smart meters installed in homes, reporting real-time usage to utility companies and other interested parties.

….I’m not suggesting we all become Luddites. However, we need to be aware of how quickly a helpful device that makes our lives easier can become a harmful weapon that enslaves us.

This was the underlying lesson of The Matrix, the Wachowski siblings’ futuristic thriller about human beings enslaved by autonomous technological beings that call the shots. As Morpheus, one of the characters in The Matrix, explains:

“The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”

“What truth?” asks Neo.

Morpheus leans in closer to Neo: “That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage. Born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind.”

By John W. Whitehead – Western Journalism –

New police radars can ‘see’ inside homes

At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance.

Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used. The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person’s house without first obtaining a search warrant.

The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving.

Current and former federal officials say the information is critical for keeping officers safe if they need to storm buildings or rescue hostages. But privacy advocates and judges have nonetheless expressed concern about the circumstances in which law enforcement agencies may be using the radars — and the fact that they have so far done so without public scrutiny.

“The idea that the government can send signals through the wall of your house to figure out what’s inside is problematic,” said Christopher Soghoian, the American Civil Liberties Union’s principal technologist. “Technologies that allow the police to look inside of a home are among the intrusive tools that police have.”

Agents’ use of the radars was largely unknown until December, when a federal appeals court in Denver said officers had used one before they entered a house to arrest a man wanted for violating his parole. The judges expressed alarm that agents had used the new technology without a search warrant, warning that “the government’s warrantless use of such a powerful tool to search inside homes poses grave Fourth Amendment questions.”

By Brad Heath – USA Today –

Citizens Deploy a Crowd-Funded, Direct Action Against Police

Citizens in Stockton, California have taken a new approach to activism.

Rather than sticking to the traditional form of protest in which signs are held and slogans are chanted, these citizens have taken direct action and offered a grassroots, crowd-funded incentive structure to end police brutality in their community.

They have offered a $2,500 reward to anybody who submits information leading to the arrest or termination of cops who brutalize or kill people.

They were able to let people know about the offer by printing all the details on flyers and spreading them throughout their community.

The flyer specifically names 15 cops as a start, and includes pictures of at least 10 cops who have been involved in either the brutalization or killing of Americans.

The words “Know Your Killer Cops” are printed on the flyers, along with instructions to film any police brutality and a location where the footage can be submitted.

From Liberty Crier –

Christmas denied by Hindus in India

While the rest of the world was celebrating Christmas by exchanging gifts and good wishes, several Christians in central India were forced to spend their Christmas in jail. Thirteen Christians, including three children and an eight-month-old infant, were falsely accused by Hindu radicals of blasphemy and were sent to jail in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh on December 26th.

Rev. J. Divine of the Methodist Church in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh told ICC, “The situation is very serious and the Christians of this region are frightened, as the authorities do not act on the cries of the minorities.”

Thirteen Christians spent Christmas in Jail.

Mr. Shamlal, a Christian in Sukta Dam, hosted a Christmas celebration in his house in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh where Geetanjali, Geetanjali’s family, and ten other Christians were invited for the celebration. During a time of worship, three unknown men came and stood at a distance trying to take pictures and video footage of the Christmas celebration.

Sensing the trouble, the Christians went and inquired as to why the men were taking pictures and videos of their program without informing the host of this activity. Soon, more people joined the three strangers and started to threaten the Christians, accusing them of converting innocent tribal and poor people.

Shamlal, sensing the situation was out of control, asked all of the Christians who came to leave and return home. As the Christians were preparing to leave, they were chased by the mob of Hindus. The Christians immediately went into a house and locked themselves inside for protection. “Lord help us and protect us,” was the prayer offered to God by Geetanjali, a young mother, as mob of now 400 Hindus surrounded the mud house where the Christians were hiding.

The growing mob threatened the Christians who were inside the house, demanding that they come out. Geetanjali told ICC that she heard the voices of the Hindu radicals shouting, “Come out of the house in five minutes; otherwise we will kill you. We will not spare you.”

After fifteen minutes, police arrived and asked the Christians to open the door, saying that they would protect them from the mob. When they opened the door, the officers escorted them to the police station. To the shock of the Christians, a case had already been booked against them under Section 295 of India’s Penal Code, popularly known as India’s blasphemy law. The police refused to record the complaints from the Christians refused to hear what the Christians had to say regarding the incident. The police said, “What you want to say, say it in the court.” The Christians stayed in the police station through the night as well as the next day. All thirteen, including an eight-month-old infant named Abhilasha, were sent to jail.

In total, the Christians spent five days in the jail, before they were able to post bail and were released on December 31st.

False accusations cancelled Christmas.

In a similar situation, Christians in Balisurah village, located in the Sundergarh district of Odisha, also spent their Christmas under awful pressure, as false cases were also booked against several pastors and Christians in the region. Pastor Joshua Das, a Christian leader from Raurkela told ICC, “We had to cancel 3 days of Christmas celebrations, as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) filed a case against seven people who were part of the organizing the Christmas celebrations.”

“Beginning on the 25th, almost every day we had to go to police station,” Pastor Das continued. “We have had to halt our normal worship service now. We do not know how long this will continue.”

Mr. Yuvraj Vardhan, the Regional Secretary of FMPB (Friends Missionary Prayer Band), also told ICC that, “The Christians of this region are being targeted and threatened more frequently than normal by the Hindu radical groups.” Mr. Vardhan went on to urge Christians to pray for the protection of Christian workers and the Christian community. He also expressed hope that both the police and media will take neutral positions.

The time for action is now.

Ever since Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came into power in May last year, Hindu radical groups have been emboldened and are carrying out outrageous acts of violence and persecution against Christians who are already a minority in India. The Sangh Parivar and its affiliate groups continue to threaten to hold large scale conversion ceremonies that forcefully convert Christians to the Hindu faith.

Despite India’s laws officially protecting the freedom of religion, there have reportedly been thirty-one incidents of Christian persecution just in the month of December, 2014. Unfortunately, many more incidents go unreported for various reasons.

In December, ICC launched a petition calling on India’s government to stop the attacks on India’s Christian community, and they have already collected over 5,000 signature. Please consider adding your name to this petition and taking a stand for India’s persecuted Christian community. To sign this petition, follow this link: http://info.persecution.org/IndiaPetition .

As the Christian community in India continues to face this new wave of persecution, Christians worldwide must take action to call for the protection of their brothers and sisters in India.

You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.

By Adrian Holman – Commentaries on Spirituality –

Charlie Hebdo Shooting’s Chilling Effect On Free Speech

After three radical Islamic terrorists killed a dozen people in Paris, France, the Politically Correct Police promptly pointed out how the victims at Charlie Hebdo provoked the attack by poking fun at Muslims.

Leftists ignore paper’s attacks on all other religions.

Does your right to biological privacy end when you flush? Police want to test your waste without warrant

In a naked attempt to shred the Constitution’s privacy and due process provisions, drug warriors are pursuing a new avenue of prosecution: Testing your sewage waste to see if you’ve been naughty or nice when it comes to using a drug Uncle Sam has deemed illegal.

What’s worse, there are actually some who are serving as cheerleaders for all of this.

According to a news release from the American Chemical Society:

“The war on drugs could get a boost with a new method that analyzes sewage to track levels of illicit drug use in local communities in real time. The new study, a first-of-its-kind in the U.S., was published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology and could help law enforcement identify new drug hot spots and monitor whether anti-drug measures are working.” [emphasis added]

Study authors Kurunthachalam Kannan and Bikram Subedi said that, today, most techniques used to estimate drug use in the country are based on surveys, criminal statistics and drug seizures by law enforcement agencies. However, they say that a lot of illicit drug use is occurring that otherwise is not being measured.

So, to compensate for that dearth of statistical evidence, the study authors advocate testing wastewater — sewage — for evidence of drug use in certain population areas.

Can police simply test your waste without a warrant?

“Like a lot of other compounds from pharmaceuticals and personal care products to pesticides, illegal drugs and their metabolic byproducts also persist in sewage,” the ACS news release said. “In Europe, a number of studies have been done to see how well wastewater treatment plants are removing illicit drugs from sludge before treated water is released into the environment. But until now, no study in the U.S. had looked at this, likely leading to underestimates of abuse.”

To gather data for their study — which was funded in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Kannan and Subedi examined illegal drug levels at two wastewater treatment plants in Albany, New York. The scientists reported finding cocaine in 93 percent of all untreated samples.

….but there are larger issues here as well — constitutional issues. Will police or federal agencies be required to obtain a search warrant before testing sewage? Or will this monitoring be permitted in the name of public safety?

Does a person have a right to biological privacy, and if so, does that right to biological privacy exist only in the moments before you flush your toilet?

By J. D. Heyes – Natural News –

US Power Centers Splinter as Chaos Rises

Investigators Said to Seek No Penalty for C.I.A.’s Computer Search … A panel investigating the Central Intelligence Agency’s search of a computer network used by staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who were looking into the C.I.A.’s use of torture will recommend against punishing anyone involved in the episode, according to current and former government officials. Its decision not to recommend anyone for disciplinary action is likely to anger members of the Intelligence Committee, who have accused the C.I.A. of trampling on the independence of Congress and interfering with its investigation of agency wrongdoing. The computer searches occurred late last year while the committee was finishing an excoriating report on the agency’s detention and interrogation program. – New York Times

Dominant Social Theme: Government officials should have more legal leeway than the average person because they make more important decisions.

Free-Market Analysis: The US is splitting apart: Some 60 years of expanding authoritarianism has created political and economic facilities that are now beginning to face off against each other. There are dozens of intel agencies, hundreds of military specializations, vast bureaucracies at local, state and federal levels – all supported by a worldwide dollar economy that virtually forces other nations to hold dollars in order to buy oil. Increasingly, as the struggle for resources grows more pronounced, each of these entities will involve themselves in growing “turf wars.” It is not, of course, just a Western problem. Europe has similar woes and its fringe parties are becoming more extreme.

What is going on in the US is both significant and rapid. We can see that the CIA is now in a confrontational position regarding Congress, according to the New York Times. In fact, CIA officials who wiretapped Senators will not be punished.

This is just one of several newsworthy items reported over the weekend. Another was the aggregate shooting of three policemen over the weekend, two in New York and one in Tarpon Springs Florida.

While these are terrible tragedies from a purely human perspective, there is good evidence that such incidents are increasingly being used as fodder for power struggles. The New York Times reported on tensions between the Mayor and police in the aftermath of the New York Shooting:

For de Blasio, Attack Comes Amid Tension Over Police … Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke in sober terms at a news conference on Saturday at Woodhull Hospital after two police officers were shot and killed in Brooklyn … It is the sequence that every mayor dreads: the ominous report, the scramble to the hospital and the confirmation that, yes, an attack against the police has proved fatal.

But for Mayor Bill de Blasio, the tragedy on Saturday — when two police officers were shot and killed in an ambush in Brooklyn, according to the authorities — arrived at a particularly trying moment, amid an already fractious relationship with the police.

Police union leaders and officers could be seen turning their backs to the mayor and the police commissioner, William J. Bratton, as they walked past, in a video taken at the hospital where the two held a news conference on Saturday….

Our interpretation involves dominant social themes and what we call “directed history.” To be blunt: In our view, the West is being leveled by historical forces as well as elite determination to expand global governance.

For over a decade the BRICS have been celebrated as a group of increasingly powerful countries capable of creating a kind of capitalism that can compete with if not win out over Western capitalism. In fact, recently, China surpassed the US in various measures of industrialization and output.

The US dollar is gradually being replaced in Asia and, of course, Russia, too, as tensions rise between the US and Russia over Ukraine and other military and industrial issues.

Various measures such as NAFTA and CAFTA have drained US industrial might while an increasingly intrusive regulatory and tax regime has further splintered US industrialism and entrepreneurialism….

By Staff – The Daily Bell –

Communist Group in Michael Brown and Eric Garner Protests

Mixed among the faces of protesters nationwide calling for justice in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown is a group of Communists fueling a movement against police officers and calling for mass demonstrations.

The Revolutionary Communist Party USA actively organizes and participates in protests against the deaths of Garner and Brown, who were both black and were killed by police officers. Now, the group is preparing for a New Year’s Eve protest that calls for an end to police brutality through whatever means possible.

The Chicago-based group, founded in 1975 and led by chairman Bob Avakian, advocates for socialism with the “final goal of a communist world.”

The Revolutionary Communist Party did not return multiple phone calls and emails from The Daily Signal requesting comment.

Photos from demonstrations in New York City show protesters carrying signs calling for the end of police brutality, with the Revolutionary Communist Party’s website written across the bottom.

The myth-debunking website Snopes.com pointed out it’s unlikely the Revolutionary Communist Party planned and organized protests. However, multiple photos (including two purchased from Newscom by The Daily Signal for this article) and posts on the party’s website show that the group is, in fact, involved in protests against police officers.

According to a correspondent for Revolution, the party’s newspaper, many people stood behind the Revolutionary Communist Party’s banner at a Dec. 13 protest in Washington, D.C., organized by Al Sharpton. More than 100 people took signs from the group advocating for an end to police brutality.

In the latest issue of Revolution, Carl Dix, a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, issued a call to action to supporters to end the “business as usual in Amerikkka” that “includes wanton police murder of black people.”

“We should live in a society where those who are entrusted with public safety would sooner risk their own lives than kill or injure an innocent person,” Dix wrote. “But in this society, cops who brutalize and murder are given the benefit of the doubt and are almost never punished in any way for their crimes.”

“If you think that police murder must stop, be out in the streets with that message on New Year’s Eve,” says Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA

Dix asked supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party to gather on New Year’s Eve for mass protests and emboldened them to “figure out imaginative ways” to punish law enforcement officers.

By Melissa Quinn – The Daily Signal –

Examples of Police State Technology Making Our Rights Obsolete as we Head into 2015

Things are not looking pretty for the land of the free.

The year 2014 has made it very clear that privacy is under threat, and the situation is not likely to improve. Mass surveillance – which became a national issue via theEdward Snowden leaks – is not subsiding or under reform; instead, it is becoming more bold and complex with each passing day.

It would take several books to catalog the myriad ways in which the rights of The People have been casually infringed upon by various levels of government just in years since 9/11 and the introduction of the PATRIOT Act.

And it’s not only federal agencies like the NSA, Homeland Security and the FBI that are taking liberties with our … umm … liberties; it is local police, too. The rise of technology is rapidly fueling these agencies with data and “intelligence” with very little oversight and even less pause for reflection to use these powerful abilities wisely and, yes, judiciously.

Here are just a few major areas where privacy has lost badly to surveillance technology in 2014. Not that anyone is paying attention, but they are worth reflecting upon soon – hopefully before it is too late to turn things back around:

1. Militarized Police and Weapons of War on American Streets:

True, this technology has been in use for several years now and has been demonstrated at protests such as the those held outside of the G20 in Pittsburgh, Toronto and other locales.

But the events in Ferguson really allowed this brand of crowd control to come of age. This and other key protests have seemingly justified a massive police response for just about anything now …but… you know, the first amendment is still respected and all.

The Daily Sheeple reported:

Ferguson police have stocked up on less-lethal ammunition in the last few months including “hornets nest” CS sting grenades, which shoot out dozens of rubber bullets and a powdered chemical agent upon detonation, tear gas, riot gear, plastic handcuffs and the like in the lead up to the decision which is expected to come any time now. St Louis County police have spent $172,669 on this stuff just since August.

The Pentagon’s 1033 surplus program, which hands out everything from MRAP armored vehicles, to bulletproof vests, assault rifles, and other military weapons to domestic law enforcement agencies, is one of the major reasons that ordinary police departments, including those in small towns, are gearing up as for battle … and that includes Ferguson:

The Department of Defense Excess Property Program (1033 Program) is authorized under federal law and managed through the Defense Logistics Agency’s Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) in Ft. Belvoir, Va. The 1033 Program provides surplus DoD military equipment to state and local civilian law enforcement agencies for use in counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism operations, and to enhance officer safety. The Missouri Department of Public Safety is the sponsoring state agency responsible for administration of the 1033 Program in Missouri.

2. Biometrics Comes of Age:
Fingerprints and iris scans are becoming normalized as identifiers on mobile phones, including the iPhone 5, computers and other platforms.

Increasingly, technology – including devices used by police – areutilizing other bodily features (in addition to fingerprints and eyes) to identify you, including ears, noses, heart rate (via electrocardiogram), blood vein matching, your scent or smell and even “butt biometrics” – no joke – which will allow smart car seats to identify the sitter based on their unique posture.

While these are surely being integrated into law enforcement devices, they are also becoming the mainstays of “wearables,” the new trendy technology that is collecting data on all of those using it to track health progress, etc.

Surveillance cameras have already been used to identify you by your walk for several years now, but advances have allowed technology to even identify the person wearing a camera, such as a police officer with a mounted body cam, by just 4 seconds of footage, revealing a ‘biometric fingerprint’of the individual.

Of course, roadside blood draws have already entered the picture in law enforcement work, including numerous locales that have implemented mandatory policies during stops. This is sure to pick up. In Seattle, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently conducted a paid, voluntary survey of drivers who received up to $60 to give blood and breath samples at a roadside stopin an effort to study how many people drive impaired.

3. Smart Phone Apps Know Everything About You:

Vocative published a long and unsettling list of apps for smart phones and other similar devices that all collect untold amounts of information about you every day.

Whether you realize it or not, permissions for apps routinely allow the collection and sharing of such information as your contact and address book, your text message, audio recorded from your device’s microphone, your call log and much more.

Yes, this is really happening, so beware if you are using mobile apps including:

By Mac Slavo – Activist Post –

SWAT teams claim to be private corporations, immune from open records laws

As part of the American Civil Liberties Union’s recent report on police militarization, the Massachusetts chapter of the organization sent open records requests to SWAT teams across that state. It received an interesting response.

As it turns out, a number of SWAT teams in the Bay State are operated by what are called law enforcement councils, or LECs. These LECs are funded by several police agencies in a given geographic area and overseen by an executive board, which is usually made up of police chiefs from member police departments. In 2012, for example, the Tewksbury Police Department paid about $4,600 in annual membership dues to the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, or NEMLEC. (See page 36 of linked PDF.) That LEC has about 50 member agencies. In addition to operating a regional SWAT team, the LECs also facilitate technology and information sharing and oversee other specialized units, such as crime scene investigators and computer crime specialists.

Some of these LECs have also apparently incorporated as 501(c)(3) organizations. And it’s here that we run into problems. According to the ACLU, the LECs are claiming that the 501(c)(3) status means that they’re private corporations, not government agencies. And therefore, they say they’re immune from open records requests. Let’s be clear. These agencies oversee police activities. They employ cops who carry guns, wear badges, collect paychecks provided by taxpayers and have the power to detain, arrest, injure and kill. They operate SWAT teams, which conduct raids on private residences. And yet they say that because they’ve incorporated, they’re immune to Massachusetts open records laws. The state’s residents aren’t permitted to know how often the SWAT teams are used, what they’re used for, what sort of training they get or who they’re primarily used against.

By Radley Balko – Washington Post –

You’re Either a Cop, or Little People: The American Police State

“You’re either a cop or little people.”—Police captain Harry Bryant in Blade Runner –

For those of us who have managed to survive 2014 with our lives intact and our freedoms hanging by a thread, it has been a year of crackdowns, clampdowns, shutdowns, showdowns, shootdowns, standdowns, knockdowns, putdowns, breakdowns, lockdowns, takedowns, slowdowns, meltdowns, and never-ending letdowns.

We’ve been held up, stripped down, faked out, photographed, frisked, fracked, hacked, tracked, cracked, intercepted, accessed, spied on, zapped, mapped, searched, shot at, tasered, tortured, tackled, trussed up, tricked, lied to, labeled, libeled, leered at, shoved aside, saddled with debt not of our own making, sold a bill of goods about national security, tuned out by those representing us, tossed aside, and taken to the cleaners.

As I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, we’ve had our freedoms turned inside out, our democratic structure flipped upside down, and our house of cards left in a shambles.

We’ve had our children burned by flashbang grenades, our dogs shot, and our old folks hospitalized after “accidental” encounters with marauding SWAT teams. We’ve been told that as citizens we have no rights within 100 miles of our own border, now considered “Constitution-free zones.” We’ve had our faces filed in government databases, our biometrics crosschecked against criminal databanks, and our consumerist tendencies catalogued for future marketing overtures.

We’ve been given the runaround on government wrongdoing, starting with President Obama’s claim that the National Security Agency has never abused its power to spy on Americans’ phone calls and emails. All the while, the NSA has been racing to build a supercomputer that could break through “every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world.” Despite the fact that the NSA’s domestic surveillance program has been shown to be ineffective at preventing acts of terrorism, the agency continues to vacuum up almost 200 million text messages a day.

We’ve seen the police transformed from community peacekeepers to point guards for the militarized corporate state. From Boston to Ferguson and every point in between, police have pushed around, prodded, poked, probed, scanned, shot and intimidated the very individuals—we the taxpayers—whose rights they were hired to safeguard. Networked together through fusion centers, police have surreptitiously spied on our activities and snooped on our communications, using hi-tech devices provided by the Department of Homeland Security.

We’ve been deemed suspicious for engaging in such dubious activities as talking too long on a cell phone and stretching too long before jogging, dubbed extremists and terrorists for criticizing the government and suggesting it is tyrannical or oppressive, and subjected to forced colonoscopies and anal probes for allegedly rolling through a stop sign.

We’ve been arrested for all manner of “crimes” that never used to be considered criminal, let alone uncommon or unlawful, behavior: letting our kids walk to the playground alone, giving loose change to a homeless man, feeding the hungry, and living off the grid.

We’ve been sodomized, victimized, jeopardized, demoralized, traumatized, stigmatized, vandalized, demonized, polarized and terrorized, often without having done anything to justify such treatment. Blame it on a government mindset that renders us guilty before we’ve even been charged, let alone convicted, of any wrongdoing. In this way, law-abiding individuals have had their homes mistakenly raided by SWAT teams that got the address wrong. One accountant found himself at the center of a misguided police standoff after surveillance devices confused his license plate with that of a drug felon.

We’ve been railroaded into believing that our votes count, that we live in a democracy, that elections make a difference, that it matters whether we vote Republican or Democrat, and that our elected officials are looking out for our best interests. Truth be told, we live in an oligarchy, politicians represent only the profit motives of the corporate state, whose leaders know all too well that there is no discernible difference between red and blue politics, because there is only one color that matters in politics—green.

By John W. Whitehead – A Nation Beguiled –

15 Reasons America’s Police Are So Brutal

Handcuffed teenagers beaten bloody with guns. Unarmed people shot and killed in their cars. Cops firing guns carelessly into busy streets. Mentally ill people tasered in ambulances. Supervisors refusing to challenge a brutal status quo.

These examples didn’t come from the New York City Police Department or Ferguson, Missouri, where the killing of unarmed black men by white cops has created a national outcry over institutional racism and excessive force. They were from Ohio, where the U.S. Department of Justice just finished an investigation and report on abusive and often unconstitutional policing by Cleveland Division of Police between 2010 and 2013. They were compiled before November 22, when a rookie officer shot and killed a 12-year-old African-American boy, Tamir Rice, for waving a toy gun around on a playground.

The DOJ’s findings raise big questions. It’s not just how widespread is the problem of excessive force and a corresponding lack of accountability. The harder questions include what can be done to change police culture, reverse many out-of-control tactics, and instill a belief across entire forces that restraint and accountability protect cops and civilians.

“We found that field supervisors are failing in some of the most fundamental aspects of their responsibilities—reviewing and investigating the uses of force of the officers under their command, and correcting dangerous tactical choices that place the officer and others at risk,” Mayor Frank Jackson said of the report, underscoring systemic problems.

When releasing the report, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the DOJ would work with Cleveland under a consent decree and a federal court will oversee reforms. But a decade ago, the DOJ also investigated police abuses in Cleveland and found similar patterns surrounding excessive force. The city’s police pledged reforms would come—yet the department’s nasty status quo obviously has resurfaced.

By Steven Rosenfeld – AlterNet –

HOW YOUR THREAT MATRIX SCORE COULD LAND YOU ON THE TERMINAL “RED LIST”

The following represents a small cross-section of illegal government spying activities which are designed to do one thing: To determine whose thoughts and actions pose a threat to the newest totalitarian regime on the face of the Earth, the United States. Everything you say and do is being cataloged and categorized and every American is receiving a threat matrix score similar to a credit rating. And where this is headed is worse than anything Orwell could have imagined.

“Every Move You Make, We’ll Be Watching You”

They look like ordinary streetlights, shining down on Las Vegas, but these streetlights have special capabilities that have aware and informed citizens up in arms.

This year, the city of Las Vegas, NV., is completing a project that it began last year and it has average citizens screaming constitutional foul play. However, these streetlights have capabilities far beyond anything the American people have ever seen.

The program is called Intellistreets and it records conversations, can scan you for a weapon, listen to your conversations and it can even “read your mind”. Eventually you will be placed on a “naughty or nice” list, and this list could have very consequences for your longevity….

Professor Margaret Hu from the Washington and Lee University School of Law states that “The implementation of a universal digitalized biometric ID system risks normalizing and integrating mass cybersurveillance into the daily lives of ordinary citizens”.

Professor Hu explains that the FBI’s Next Generation Identification project will institute the following:

“A comprehensive, centralized, and technologically interoperable biometric database that spans across military and national security agencies, as well as all other state and federal government agencies. Once complete, NGI will strive to centralize whatever biometric data is available on all citizens and noncitizens in the United States and abroad, including information on fingerprints, DNA, iris scans, voice recognition, and facial recognition data captured through digitalized photos, such as U.S. passport photos and REAL ID driver’s licenses. The NGI Interstate Photo System, for instance, aims to aggregate digital photos from not only federal, state, and local law enforcement, but also digital photos from private businesses, social networking sites, government agencies, and foreign and international entities, as well as acquaintances, friends, and family members”. Biometric ID cybersurveillance might be used to assign risk assessment scores and to take action based on those scores“.

The healthy side of your paranoia is about to emerge as we consider the fact that Professor Hu describes a DHS program known as FAST, which is a DHS tested program and has been described as a “precrime” program. FAST will gather upon complex statistical algorithms that will compile data from multiple databases and will subsequently “predict” future criminal or terrorist acts.

The “precrime” data will be gathered” through cybersurveillance and stealth data monitoring of ordinary citizens. The FAST program purports to assess whether an individual might pose a “precrime” threat through the capture of a range of data, including biometric data. In other words, FAST accuses non-convicted individuals as being a security threat risk of becoming future criminals and terrorists through data analysis. No charges, no police interviews, the system is designed to become “judge, jury and executioner“.

Under the Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), criminal cues are captured through the following types of biometric data including body and eye movements, eye blink rate and pupil variation, body heat changes, and breathing patterns. Various linguistic cues include the analysis of voice pitch changes, alterations in voce rhythm patterns, and changes in intonations of speech. Hu notes that in documents released by DHS clearly show that individuals could be arrested and face serious consequences based upon statistical algorithms and predictive analytical assessments.

By Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show –

Supreme Court: Searches in illegitimate traffic stops OK in court

The Supreme Court struck another blow to the Bill of Rights with its 8-1 decision to expand police powers in situations where the police perform traffic stops based on imaginary laws. The Heien v. North Carolina decision held that an officer’s “reasonable mistake of law” can lead to an allowable search and arrest for contraband.

The case arose from a 2009 traffic stop in North Carolina, in which motorist Nicholas Heien was stopped by police for driving with one broken brake light. That stop led to a search of Heien’s vehicle, which in turn led to the discovery of illegal drugs. Sergeant Matt Darisse arrested Mr. Heien because of the contents of a baggie found in his vehicle.

The twist came from the fact that North Carolina law does not provide the legal pretext for an officer to perform a stop for one broken brake light. State law requires that drivers maintain only one operable “stop lamp” — not two….

The officer was mistaken about the law and had no legal grounds to force the driver to stop. The baseless stop led to an arrest. The courts were left to decide if the fruits of this illegitimate traffic stop could be used as evidence to uphold a conviction.

“The government should be presumed to know the laws,” argued attorney Jeffrey Fisher, who represented Mr. Heien before the Supreme Court. “It would undercut public confidence in law enforcement and the common law rule upon which the criminal law is built to say the government doesn’t have to be presumed to know the law when it acted.”

The court disagreed. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the maxim “ignorance of the law is no excuse” does not apply here, because Mr. Heien “is not appealing a brake light ticket.” Instead, he is appealing a drug conviction “as to which there is no asserted mistake of fact or law.”

In other words, the police can be totally wrong in their pretexts for initiating stops, but not in the charges applied thereafter.

By Staff – Police State USA –

Black Helicopters Descend on Dallas

Alarmed residents who reported low-flying black helicopters with their lights turned off buzzing downtown Dallas last night were witnessing U.S. Special Forces drills intended to allow troops to get a feel for “realistic urban sites”.

“Twitter users reported seeing blacked-out helicopters flying in low, close formations with no lights,” reported NBC-DFW. Infowars readers also contacted us to say they had witnessed the choppers.

The maneuvers were part of preparedness training for U.S. Special Operations Forces, exercises which will continue for the next two weeks, Dallas police confirmed, adding that the exact locations of the drills would not be disclosed.

“If any members of the public learn of the training locations, we ask the public to remain clear of these areas while training is conducted,” according to a press release.

By Paul Joseph Watson – Info Wars –

Hundreds of killings by cops are not reported to FBI

Hundreds of police killings are not included in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s records on the matter, according to a new report.

More than 550 homicides by police officers between 2007 and 2012 were missing from the federal statistics or not attributed to the law enforcement agency involved, the Wall Street Journal reported.

This makes it nearly impossible to figure out how many people cops kill — justifiably or not — every year.

The analysis comes at a time of heightened pressure for transparency from authorities, especially after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August.

To compile the report, the Journal looked at the internal figures of killings by police from 105 of the nation’s 110 largest police departments. Apparently, five declined its request for access.

The internal records show at least 1,800 deaths during the aforementioned timeframe. That is about 45 percent higher than the FBI’s tally of 1,242, according to the broadsheet.

Why don’t the FBI records contain these additional deaths?

By Michael Walsh – Yahoo News –

Hundreds of protesters shut down trains & Interstate 80 near Berkeley

Demonstrators took to the streets of Berkeley, California for yet another march Monday night to protest the police-related deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

The march brought traffic to a crawl on both directions of Interstate 80 just before 9pm local time, as hundreds of protesters walked out onto the freeway.

Police were eventually able to break up the group, but cops and protesters faced off again on a pedestrian bridge stretching across the major thoroughfare.

The downtown Berkeley BART station was also shut down, and protesters in nearby Emeryville were pictured dramatically laying down on the tracks in front of Amtrak trains.

Monday’s protest follows two nights of violence and vandalism in Berkeley and Oakland, as a few rogue demonstrators broke into local businesses to loot and the California Highway Patrol deployed tear gas to combat some protesters who attacked the cops with explosives.

Eleven protesters were arrested in marches on Saturday and Sunday and appeared for their first arraignments Monday afternoon.

Activists in the Bay Area have been holding marches every night since last Wednesday, when a State Island grand jury decided not to indict the NYPD officer responsible for killing Garner with an illegal chokehold.

On Sunday, opportunistic thieves joined the demonstrations and broke into a RadioShack to loot the store for pricey gadgets.

By Ashley Collman – MailOnline –

Obama to provide funding for 50,000 police body cameras

President Obama on Monday will announce $263 million in funding for law enforcement agencies to purchase body-worn cameras and improve training.

The White House said the funding, which would need to be matched by state and local police, could purchase 50,000 body-worn cameras.

Obama also plans to overhaul how the federal government disperses military equipment to local police departments, the White House said Monday.

The announcement comes as the White House seeks to respond to protests across the country over a Ferguson, Mo., grand jury’s decision to not indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old.

The case has raised questions about how police treat minority communities, and the Ferguson force was also criticized over the summer when it rolled out heavy equipment in response to violent summer protests over Brown’s death.

By Justin Sink – The Hill –

Police Captain Ray Lewis: ‘Police Are An Oppressive Organization Used As Mercenaries By Corporations’

A former Philadelphia police officer says that he’s standing with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri to send a message that police are oppressing the majority of Americans.

“Number one, I want to give the residents of Ferguson the knowledge that there are some police that do support them,” Ray Lewis, a former Philadelphia Police captain told Al Jazeera. “I want to try and get a message to mainstream America that that this system is corrupt, that police really are oppressing not only the black community, but also the whites,” he said.

By Sam Levine – Huffington Post –

Mike Brown Protesters Target Thanksgiving Day Parade

Chanting “Justice for Mike Brown!” and “No justice, no peace!” the demonstrators marched south from the New York Public Library and turned right on 37th Street toward Seventh Avenue about 9:30 a.m. and then attempted a U-turn toward the parade route.

“There is no business as usual on Thanksgiving Day because there’s nothing to be thankful for while the cops are killing our children,” a protester told New York Daily News.

From InfoWars.com –

Massive Ferguson Rioting, Looting, Violence

Looting and violence has broken out in Ferguson in the wake of the decision not to indict Darren Wilson. Jake Tapper reported that people tried to smash in windows with bricks and police have fired tear gas to disperse crowds. Don Lemon is reporting people throwing bottles and confronting police.

By Aurelius – The Pundit Press –

Ferguson businesses torched in overnight protests

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Smoke billowed from burned-out buildings and sidewalks were strewn with broken glass Tuesday morning after Ferguson erupted over a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer in the killing of unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Firefighters were dousing the blackened remains of some businesses and at least one was still ablaze. Some Ferguson stores that weren’t burned had smashed display windows, but the streets of the St. Louis suburb were mostly clear.

Monday night’s protests were far more destructive than any of those that followed Brown’s Aug. 9 death, with more than a dozen businesses badly damaged or destroyed. Authorities reported hearing hundreds of gunshots, which for a time prevented fire crews from fighting the flames.

There were 61 arrests in Ferguson overnight, many for burglary and trespassing, St. Louis County Police spokesman Brian Schellman said. There were 21 arrests in St. Louis, where protesters broke some store windows along South Grand Avenue, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said.

Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County police, said that unless his agency could bring in 10,000 officers, “I don’t think we can prevent folks who really are intent on destroying a community.”

At least eight people were injured during the overnight protests, including two people who were admitted to Barnes-Jewish Hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries. That hospital treated and released five people and Saint Louis University Hospital treated and released another. Several other hospitals didn’t immediately respond to phone messages and emails seeking comment….

By JIM SALTER and DAVID A. LIEB – Associated Press –

‘Robocops’ Start Patrolling Silicon Valley

Autonomous “Robocop”-style robots, equipped with microphones, speakers, cameras, laser scanners and sensors, have started to guard Silicon Valley.

The security robots, called Knightscope K5 Autonomous Data Machines, were designed by a robotics company, Knightscope, located in Mountain View, California.

The robots are programmed to notice unusual behavior and alert controllers. It also has odor and heat detectors, and can monitor pollution in carpets as well. Last but not least: with cameras, the Robocops can remember up to 300 number plates a minute, monitoring traffic.

It works like this: someone steps in front of a robot, which stops and moves around the person while sending video to a control center. If a burglar doesn’t leave, then “the robot is looking at the video, listening for glass breakage, any loud sound that breaking in would cause. We’ll get the license plate, picture of the vehicle, geotag location, and time,” says project co-founder Stacy Stephens.

The robotics company says that it will be placing the robots to patrol malls, offices, and local neighborhoods, as well as outdoor spaces like corporate campuses, college campuses and open air malls. Knightscope said that future growth opportunities include areas in schools, hotels, auto dealerships, stadiums, casinos, law enforcement agencies, seaports and airports.

From RT.com –

New Machine Can Scan Your DNA In 90 Minutes

Rapid-DNA technology makes it easier than ever to grab and store your genetic profile. G-men, cops, and Homeland Security can’t wait to see it everywhere.

Robert Schueren shook my hand firmly, handed me his business card, and flipped it over, revealing a short list of letters and numbers. “Here is my DNA profile.” He smiled. “I have nothing to hide.” I had come to meet Schueren, the CEO of IntegenX, at his company’s headquarters in Pleasanton, California, to see its signature product: a machine the size of a large desktop printer that can unravel your genetic code in the time it takes to watch a movie.

Schueren grabbed a cotton swab and dropped it into a plastic cartridge. That’s what, say, a police officer would use to wipe the inside of your cheek to collect a DNA sample after an arrest, he explained. Other bits of material with traces of DNA on them, like cigarette butts or fabric, could work too. He inserted the cartridge into the machine and pressed a green button on its touch screen: “It’s that simple.” Ninety minutes later, the RapidHIT 200 would generate a DNA profile, check it against a database, and report on whether it found a match.

The RapidHIT represents a major technological leap—testing a DNA sample in a forensics lab normally takes at least two days. This has government agencies very excited. The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the Justice Department funded the initial research for “rapid DNA” technology, and after just a year on the market, the $250,000 RapidHIT is already being used in a few states, as well as China, Russia, Australia, and countries in Africa and Europe.

“We’re not always aware of how it’s being used,” Schueren said. “All we can say is that it’s used to give an accurate identification of an individual.” Civil liberties advocates worry that rapid DNA will spur new efforts by the FBI and police to collect ordinary citizens’ genetic code.

The US government will soon test the machine in refugee camps in Turkey and possibly Thailand on families seeking asylum in the United States, according to Chris Miles, manager of the Department of Homeland Security’s biometrics program. “We have all these families that claim they are related, but we don’t have any way to verify that,” he says. Miles says that rapid DNA testing will be voluntary, though refusing a test could cause an asylum application to be rejected.

Miles also says that federal immigration officials are interested in using rapid DNA to curb trafficking by ensuring that children entering the country are related to the adults with them. Jeff Heimburger, the vice president of marketing at IntegenX, says the government has also inquired about using rapid DNA to screen green-card applicants. (An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman said he was not aware that the agency was pursuing the technology.)

Meanwhile, police have started using rapid DNA in Arizona, Florida, and South Carolina. In August, sheriffs in Columbia, South Carolina, used a RapidHIT to nab an attempted murder suspect. The machine’s speed provides a major “investigative lead,” said Vince Figarelli, superintendent of the Arizona Department of Public Safety crime lab, which is using a RapidHIT to compare DNA evidence from property crimes against the state’s database of 300,000 samples. Heimburger notes that the system can also prevent false arrests and wrongful convictions: “There is great value in finding out that somebody is not a suspect.”

But the technology is not a silver bullet for DNA evidence. The IntegenX executives brought up rape kits so often that it sounded like their product could make a serious dent in the backlog of half a million untested kits. Yet when I pressed Schueren on this, he conceded that the RapidHIT is not actually capable of processing rape kits since it can’t discern individual DNA in commingled bodily fluids….

….Democratic members of Congress, including progressive stalwart Rep. Barbara Lee of California, urged the FBI to assess rapid DNA’s “viability for broad deployment” in police departments across the country.

By Shane Bauer – Mother Jones –

Christian booted from National Cathedral by Muslims

It was supposed to be a shining moment for proponents of the interfaith movement.

The Islamic “jummah,” or Friday call to prayer, would be held on America’s grandest Christian stage – the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

It was a bold move that had never been tried. Leaders of the Episcopal cathedral said sending prayers up to Allah from a Christian church would show the world that two religions at odds with each other for centuries could “approach the same God” as one body of believers.

The stage was set. The prayer rugs were neatly arranged facing Mecca. The lights shone down on the imam for his opening remarks.

Not so fast.

Christine Weick, a 50-year-old Michigan woman with flowing blonde hair who lives out of her car, rose from the packed National Cathedral, the hall of halls in terms of religious prominence in America, and moved toward the front of the church.

She pointed to the cross hanging overhead.

That cross seemed to be the one thing nobody wanted to look at, she told WND Saturday in an exclusive interview.

The Muslims had set up their prayer rugs in such a way that their backs were turned on the cross, which they consider an alien religious symbol. Jesus was a prophet but was not the son of God and never died on a Roman cross, according to Muslim teaching. Yet, they found themselves staring at a woman who demanded the cross become the center of attention. She then blurted out the message she had traveled all the way from Tennessee to deliver.

“Jesus Christ died on that cross. He is the reason we are to worship only Him. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior,” she said. “We have built …allowed you your mosques in this country. Why don’t you worship in your mosques and leave our churches alone? We are a country founded on Christian principles.”

She immediately heard voices in the crowd yelling for security.

“Black coat, white scarf, blonde hair!” yelled one. “We need to get her out of here now!” someone else cried out.

“They were yelling for security, and by that point I was already done saying what I came to say,” Weick told WND.

She was promptly escorted out of the sanctuary by two men in suits, who handed her off to a police officer.

By Leo Hohmann – WND.com –

FBI Report: Americans Less Violent, Except Police

While violence among citizens has dropped, violence against citizens carried out by police has been rising sharply.

According to new FBI statistics released this week, violent crime rates in the US fell over 4% in the past year alone, bringing the amount of violent crimes lower than it has been in nearly 40 years. The statistics showed that there were an estimated 1.16 million violent crimes in the year of 2013, which is the lowest number since 1978, when 1.09 million were recorded.

Broken down, the report revealed that manslaughter dropped by 4.4% to 14,196, the lowest rate since 1968, while instances of rape were down 6.3%. Despite the tough economic times, robbery is also down by 2.8% and property crimes were down by 4.1%.

The violent crime rate has been steadily declining since 1994, but the prison population has continued to increase over the decades. There are currently over two and a half million people imprisoned in the US, which is by far the largest prison population in the world.

However, a study recently published by Pew Charitable Trusts showed that for the first time in decades, the US prison population is actually on a decline. Their research found that the drop in crime that was seen in 2013 actually coincided with a decline in the prison population. According to their data, the amount of people in the US prison system peaked in 2008, and has since dropped 6%….

According to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report, 461 felony suspects were shot by police last year, which is the highest number seen in decades. These numbers are likely unreported as well, and only includes felony suspects, so it is possible that this figure is much higher than the study suggests.

Another interesting angle is that in the same time period gun sales soared across the country, which seems to support the idea that more people owning guns actually contributes to making society a safer place….

By John Vibe – FreeThoughtProject.com –

Blueprint for Success: Turning Federal Acts into Hot Air

By Michael Boldin – Tenth Amendment Center –

“Without local enforcement, by compliant local authorities, the will of the central government is not much more than hot air.”
-Hans-Hermann Hoppe

In what should be seen as a blueprint for effective resistance to federal power, the Nashville Police refused to help the Secret Service after a “frantic call for backup” to enter and search a resident’s home without a search warrant.

According to News Channel 5:

“A Secret Service agent made a frantic call for backup to Nashville police after he and another agent went to the home of a Nashville man, investigating threatening comments on Facebook about the President. The man who posted them had refused to let the agents into his house.

He shoved the door in our face and went around the corner. Looks like, we’re not sure if he … possibly he had a gun in his hands,” the agent told a 911 operator.”

“The resident refused to come outside and shouted back, ‘Show me your warrant,’” said Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson.

While much of the media attention focused on the fact that the SS agents asked a police sergeant to ‘wave a piece of paper’ in an apparent effort to dupe the resident into thinking that they indeed had a warrant when they did not, most coverage missed what might be even more important.

Refusal to participate with federal acts on a local level is legal, constitutional – and effective.

 
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Shielded from Justice: The High Cost of Living in a Police State

By John W. Whitehead –

“It’s been over five months since the night a SWAT team broke into the house in which we were staying…We were staying with relatives and my whole family was sleeping in one room. My husband and I, our three daughters and our baby (nicknamed “Baby Bou Bou”) in his crib. Dressed like soldiers, they broke down the door. The SWAT officers tossed a flashbang grenade into the room. It landed in Baby Bou Bou’s crib, blowing a hole in his face and chest that took months to heal and covering his entire body with scars.

“Doctors tell us that my son will have to have double reconstructive surgeries twice a year, every year for the next 20 years… [I]n five short months our family has taken on nearly $900,000 in medical bills, some of which have now gone into collections… After initially offering to cover the medical expenses, the county has since refused to cover any of our medical costs, all of which would never have happened if the SWAT team hadn’t broken into the home.”—Alecia Phonesavanh
Who pays the price for the police shootings that leave unarmed citizens dead or injured, for the SWAT team raids that leave doors splintered, homes trashed, pets murdered, and family members traumatized and injured, if not dead?

I’m not just talking about the price that must be paid in hard-earned dollars, whether by taxpayers or the victims, in attempting to restore what was vandalized and broken by police. It’s also the things that can’t be so easily calculated to a decimal point: the broken bones that will never quite heal right, the children’s nightmares at night, the uneasy sleep, the broken family heirlooms, the loss of faith in a system that was supposed to serve and protect you, the grief for loved ones whose lives were cut short.

Baby Bou Bou may have survived the misdirected SWAT team raid that left him with a hole in his face and extensive scars on his body, but he will be the one to pay the price for the rest of his life for the SWAT team’s blunder in launching a flashbang grenade into his crib. And even though the SWAT team was wrong about the person they were after, even though they failed to find any drugs in the home they’d raided, and even though they may have regretted the fact that Baby Bou Bou got hurt, it will still be the Phonesavanh family who will pay and pay and pay for the endless surgeries every year to reconstruct their son’s face as he grows from toddler to boy to teenager to man. Already, they have racked up more than $900,000 in medical bills. Incredibly, government officials refused to cover the family’s medical expenses.

That is just one family’s experience, the price they must pay for living in a police state. Tally their pain, their loss and their medical bills, and add it to that of the hundreds of other families in cities and towns across the nation who are similarly reeling from the blows inflicted by the government’s standing armies, and you will find yourself reeling. For many of these individuals, there can never be any amount of reparation sufficient to make up for the lives lost or shattered.

As for those who do get “paid back,” at least in monetary terms for their heartache and loss, it’s the taxpayers who are footing the bill to the tune of millions of dollars. Incredibly, these cases hardly impact the police department’s budget. As journalist Aviva Shen points out, “individual officers are rarely held accountable for their abuses, either by the police department or in court… Internally, police departments rarely investigate complaints of misconduct, let alone punish the accused officers. Because cities insulate police officers and departments from the financial consequences for their actions, police on the street have little incentive to avoid unnecessary force, and their departments may not feel the need to crack down on repeat offenders. And so the bill for taxpayers keeps growing.”

 
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Seizures of cash from Americans fuel police spending nationwide

The Washington Post –

Police agencies have used hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Americans under federal civil forfeiture law in recent years to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear. They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.

The details are contained in thousands of annual reports submitted by local and state agencies to the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, an initiative that allows local and state police to keep up to 80 percent of the assets they seize. The Washington Post obtained 43,000 of the reports dating from 2008 through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The documents offer a sweeping look at how police departments and drug task forces across the country are benefiting from laws that allow them to take cash and property without proving a crime has occurred. The law was meant to decimate drug organizations, but The Post found that it has been used as a routine source of funding for law enforcement at every level.

“In tight budget periods, and even in times of budget surpluses, using asset forfeiture dollars to purchase equipment and training to stay current with the ever-changing trends in crime fighting helps serve and protect the citizens,” said Prince George’s County, Md., police spokeswoman Julie Parker.

Brad Cates, a former director of asset forfeiture programs at the Justice Department, said the spending identified by The Post suggests police are using Equitable Sharing as “a free floating slush fund.” Cates, who oversaw the program while at Justice from 1985 to 1989, said it has enabled police to sidestep the traditional budget process, in which elected leaders create law enforcement spending priorities.

“All of this is fundamentally at odds with the U.S. Constitution,” said Cates, who recently co-wrote an article calling for the program’s abolition on The Post’s editorial page. “All of this is at odds with the rights that Americans have.”

Of the nearly $2.5 billion in spending reported in the forms, 81 percent came from cash and property seizures in which no indictment was filed, according to an analysis by The Post. Owners must prove that their money or property was acquired legally in order to get it back.

The police purchases comprise a rich mix of the practical and the high-tech, including an array of gear that has helped some departments militarize their operations: Humvees, automatic weapons, gas grenades, night-vision scopes and sniper gear. Many departments acquired electronic surveillance equipment, including automated license-plate readers and systems that track cellphones.

The spending also included a $5 million helicopter for Los Angeles police; a mobile command bus worth more than $1 million in Prince George’s County; an armored personnel carrier costing $227,000 in Douglasville, Ga., population 32,000; $5,300 worth of “challenge coin” medallions in Brunswick County, N.C.; $4,600 for a Sheriff’s Award Banquet by the Doña Ana County (N.M.) Sheriff’s Department; and a $637 coffee maker for the Randall County Sheriff’s Department in Amarillo, Tex.

Sparkles the Clown was hired for $225 by Chief Jeff Buck in Reminderville, Ohio, to improve community relations. But Buck said the seizure money has been crucial to sustaining long-term investigations that have put thousands of drug traffickers in prison.

“The money I spent on Sparkles the Clown is a very, very minute portion of the forfeited money that I spend in fighting the war on drugs,” he told The Post.

About 5,400 departments and drug task forces have participated in the Equitable Sharing Program since 2008. Justice spokesman Peter Carr said the program is an effective weapon to fight crime but should not be considered “an alternative funding source for state and local law enforcement.”

“It removes the tools of crime from criminal organizations, deprives wrongdoers of the proceeds of their crimes, recovers property that may be used to compensate victims, and deters crime,” he said in a statement. “Any funds received through the equitable sharing program are meant to enhance and supplement, not supplant or replace an agency’s appropriated budget and resources.”

Money for gear, training

A local or state police agency can seize cash or property under federal law through the Equitable Sharing Program when a federal agency such as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration or Immigration and Customs Enforcement agrees to adopt the seizure under federal law. Federal agencies generally are allowed to keep 20 percent or more of the seizure after an adoption.

In September, The Post reported that police across the country became more aggressive in their use of federal civil asset forfeiture laws after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Officials at Justice and the Department of Homeland Security encouraged a technique known as highway interdiction to help in the fight against drugs and terror.

There have been 61,998 cash seizures on highway and elsewhere since 9/11 without search warrants or indictments and processed through the Equitable Sharing Program, according to an analysis of Justice data obtained by The Post.

Equitable Sharing participants must follow rules contained in a 50-page Equitable Sharing guide that require the proceeds of seizures to be used “by law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes only.”

Permissible uses include overtime pay, training, building construction and improvements and equipment — everything from file cabinets and fitness gear to automatic weapons, surveillance systems and cars. They also can use proceeds to buy food and drinks at conferences or during disaster operations.

Police generally may not pay ongoing salaries or otherwise support annual budgets. One exception allows for departments to pay salaries of newly hired officers for one year or officers assigned to a drug task force as a replacement “so long as the replacement officer does not engage in the seizure of assets or narcotics law enforcement as a principal duty.”

The Justice Department has about 15 employees assigned to overseeing compliance. Five employees review thousands of annual reports for discrepancies. Justice employees also use analytical tools to search for spending patterns. Several attorneys review all sharing request for $1 million or more, Carr said, adding that the locals also do their own audits.

The annual reports from local and state police are required to help “promote public confidence” in the program and to protect against “waste, fraud and abuse,” the guidelines say. But the forms provide few details about what is actually purchased, according to documents and interviews. That is in part because the department leaves it up to local officials to decide how to categorize their spending. There is little room to provide line-item detail.

Justice’s inspector general’s office has conducted 25 audits on spending since 2008, an average of four a year, examining more than $18 million in Equitable Sharing spending, roughly three-quarters of 1 percent of the money spent during that time. Justice has challenged millions of dollars in spending as unsupported or unallowable.

One audit examined about $3.4 million in Equitable Sharing funds that the Oklahoma Highway Patrol spent from July 2009 to June 2012.

The audit found $1.9 million in unallowable and unsupported expenditures relating to salaries, overtime pay, construction, fees paid to contractors and the use of two Ford F-150 pickup trucks by non-law enforcement personnel.

Oklahoma authorities did not return calls seeking comment.

Auditors found the Mesa County, Colo., Sheriff’s Office paid thousands for projectors, scanner equipment and other items that were not intended for law enforcement. They also paid for 20 lawyers in the Mesa County prosecutors office to attend a conference at the Keystone ski resort. Auditors questioned more than $78,000 in spending.

The Mesa Sheriff’s Office also did not respond to calls from The Post.

Trading cards and BMWs

One task force used the money for a subscription to High Times, a magazine for marijuana enthusiasts, at $29.99 for a year.

Several departments bought custom-made trading cards, complete with photos and data about their officers. Some, including police in Chelsea, Mass., share them with children in their communities.

“We have found that this is a great way to build trust and foster long-lasting relationships with the youth in our community who get to know officers on a first-name basis,” said Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes.

Ten agencies have used the asset forfeiture funds to pay their fees for the Defense Department’s excess property initiative, better known as the 1033 program, which enables local and state police to buy surplus military-grade equipment at cut rates. The equipment includes automatic weapons, night-vision gear and clothing.

Police in Sahuarita, Ariz., paid $4,300 to outfit a Humvee obtained through the 1033 program.

The New Bedford, Mass., Police Department in 2012 paid $2,119 for shipping costs for M-16s from the military.

Dozens of sheriff and police offices paid a total of more than $100,000 for keepsakes known as “challenge coins” and lapel pins that they could share with one another and with local residents.

Scores of departments spent money on vehicles. Many of them were typical police cruisers, but dozens were new and used sports and luxury cars, including at least 15 Mercedes, a dozen Mustangs, a handful of BMWs and two Corvettes.

Others bought a variety of armored cars. Among them was the police department in Douglasville, Ga., and the sheriff’s office in Douglas County, Ga., which teamed up several years ago to buy an eight-ton, $227,000 BearCat (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck).

Douglasville Deputy Chief Gary E. Sparks said they have used the vehicle a few times in barricade situations. But mostly it comes in handy for “officer down” and SWAT team exercises.

“It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it,” he said.

Police in Ferguson, Mo., also participate in Equitable Sharing. Since 2008, the department reported using seizure proceeds to buy $18,000 in weapons, $71,000 in computers and communications gear, and about $43,000 in electronic surveillance equipment. Some of the money was seized in partnerships with other agencies, the annual reports show.

Jurisdictions in the Washington region have used the federal asset forfeiture program as well.

Virginia State Police spent $33 million on buildings and improvements and $11 million on computers and communications gear.A state police spokeswoman said the funds came from money forfeited by Purdue Frederick Company, the maker of OxyContin, to settle allegations that the company played down the drug’s addictive properties.

The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department was a leader in spending on informants and undercover drug purchases, reporting about $3.3 million under that category. The department declined a request to provide details.

Prince George’s police spent $382,000 on license-plate readers, $56,000 to paint two aging helicopters and an undisclosed amount on a “cell site simulator” that can surreptitiously track cellphones.

Parker, the Prince George’s police spokeswoman, said the cellphone-tracking system is only used under court order and that the department “follows best practice policies” when spending forfeiture funds.

Fairfax County police have spent $1.3 million on weapons and protective gear, $561,000 on buildings and improvements and $208,000 on electronic surveillance gear. The department declined to share details about the spending.

The Justice Department audited Fairfax’s spending in 2009 and 2010 and found the department had complied with the guidelines at that time.

“Our financial stewardship of our Seized Account Funds is in compliance with all Federal rules and laws, State rules and laws, County rules and laws, and we undergo audits of these accounts by local and federal agencies,” Col. Edwin C. Roessler Jr., the Fairfax police chief, said in a statement. “Additionally, we are subjected to internal audit processes to review all requests for expenditures to ensure purchases are pre-approved for compliance.”

The Post analysis found that since 2008, more than 500 departments and drug task forces have reported receiving the equivalent of 20 percent of their annual spending plans at least once. Nearly 100 have done so in at least three of the past six years.

The local department that makes the most consistent use of Equitable Sharing funds per capita is in Braselton, Ga., a town of about 8,000 people along Interstate 85 northeast of Atlanta. It has reported receiving the equivalent of 20 percent or more of its budget from the Justice program in five of the past six years, documents show.

The Braselton Police Department’s approach to Equitable Sharing offers insights about the latitude the Justice Department gives local and state departments to spend seized proceeds . It also underscores how little Equitable Sharing participants are required to disclose to Justice each year.

 
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NYPD cop takes $1,300 from man, pepper-sprays him in the face when he complains

By Travis Gettys – RawStory.com –

A brief cell phone video shows a New York City police officer use pepper spray on a man and his sister after they complained the cop had taken more than $1,000 during a stop-and-frisk search.

Lamard Joye was stopped by police Sept. 16 in Coney Island after confronting officers who roughed up a young man nearby, said the man’s attorney.

“Is that necessary?” Joye and some friends asked police, according to the attorney.

One of Joye’s friends begins recording video, posted online by the New York Daily News, that shows an officer standing face-to-face with Joye, who oustretches his arms and says, “You see this?”

The officer then reaches into Joye’s pocket and pulls out a handful of cash, and smacks his face and calls him an “asshole” when Joye asks him to return the money.

The video shows the officer squirt pepper spray at Joye, who retreats as onlookers accuse the cop of stealing his money.

Joye’s sister confronts the officer as bystanders accuse him of robbery, and the cop blasts her with pepper spray when she identified two numbers on his badge.

“I went to get his badge number and name,” Lateefah Joye told the Daily News. “I leaned over to see his badge. He pushed me away. I saw a two and a one, and that’s when he pepper-sprayed me in my mouth and my whole face.”

Robert Marinelli, an attorney who represents Joye….

 
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Protests Resume In St. Louis Over Police Shooting

From The Liberty Crier –

ST. LOUIS — Angry protests have erupted for a second night in the Shaw neighborhood of this city after an off-duty white police officer shot and killed an African-American teenager who, police said, had fired three shots at him.

Following loud protests Wednesday night, demonstrations resumed Thursday evening when about 200 chanting people marched and stopped traffic not far from the scene where Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18, was shot.

Protesters held signs that said, “We will not forget,” and “Don’t Shoot.”

 
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Should We Just Follow Orders? Rules of Engagement for Resisting the Police State

By John W. Whitehead – Speak Truth To Power –

“Let your motto be resistance! resistance! Resistance! No oppressed people have ever secured their liberty without resistance.”—Abolitionist Henry Highland Garnet

The perils of resisting the police state grow more costly with each passing day, especially if you hope to escape with your life and property intact. The thing you must remember is that we’ve entered an age of militarized police in which we’re no longer viewed as civilians but as enemy combatants.

Take, for example, Mary Elizabeth VandenBerg who was charged with disturbing the peace, a crime punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine, for daring to vocalize her frustrations over a traffic ticket by reading a prepared statement to the court clerk and paying her $145 traffic ticket with 145 one-dollar bills. VandenBerg was also handcuffed, tasered and pepper sprayed for “passively” resisting police by repeatedly stopping and talking to them and stiffening her arms. The incident, filmed by VandenBerg’s brother, is now the subject of a lawsuit.

Zachary Noel was tasered by police and charged with resisting arrest after he questioned why he was being ordered out of his truck during a traffic stop. “Because I’m telling you to,” the officer replied before repeating his order for Noel to get out of the vehicle and then, without warning, shooting him with a taser through the open window. The encounter, recorded with a cell phone by Noel’s friend in the passenger seat, offers a particularly chilling affirmation of how little recourse Americans really have when it comes to obeying an order from a government official or police officer, even if it’s just to ask a question or assert one’s rights….

Clearly, the language of freedom is no longer the common tongue spoken by the citizenry and their government. With the government having shifted into a language of force, “we the people” have been reduced to suspects in a surveillance state, criminals in a police state, and enemy combatants in a military empire.

In such an environment, as every resistor from Martin Luther King Jr. and on down the line has learned, there is always a price to be paid for challenging the status quo. Then again, the price for not challenging the status quo is even worse: outright tyranny, the loss of our freedoms, and a totalitarian regime the likes of which the world has never seen before.

 
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Sandy Hook massacre was a “contrived event,” says former state trooper Wolfgang Halbig

By Dr. Eowyn – FellowshipoftheMinds.com –

…Being a school safety consultant who has traveled to every state in America to investigate and testify on school shootings, (State Trooper Wolfgang) Halbig calls every shooting “a puzzle” that must be pieced together. In the case of the Sandy Hook massacre, however, the pieces of this puzzle simply “don’t fit.” Those pieces include:

1. When the police arrived at Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES) that morning, they parked ¼ mile from the school’s front door instead of doing what first responders are supposed to do in an active shooter event, which is to neutralize the threat as quickly as possible so as to save as many lives as possible.

2. Paramedics and EMTs (emergency medical technicians) were not allowed to enter the school. Instead they were kept waiting in the Sandy Hook fire station nearby, 500 yards down the road from SHES.

3. Trauma helicopters, which can provide the quickest and best medical services in an emergency, were not sent to Sandy Hook. Life Star, the medical helicopter service at Danbury Hospital’s Trauma Center, told Halbig “we were never called, never asked.”

4. Where were the ambulances to transport the wounded to hospitals?

5. Why did police declare 26 people to be dead within the first 11 minutes of the shooting, when according to Connecticut law, only a doctor can declare someone to be legally dead?

6. Why did the FBI classify the Sandy Hook massacre? This has never been done before. Even the Columbine School massacre was not classified information. To this day, the FBI report on Sandy Hook remains classified information, not releasable to the public.

7. Why did the State of Connecticut wait ELEVEN whole months to issue its official final report on the Sandy Hook shootings to the American public? Note that the final report does not include the FBI’s still-classified report.

8. Police transmissions don’t lie because they are made by sworn and trained law enforcement officers. On the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, recorded police transmissions said “We have multiple weapons inside the [SH] classroom — a rifle and a shotgun.” But nobody could find the shotgun in the school. Instead, a shotgun was found in the black Honda parked outside the school.

9. At 9:45 AM that day, a police officer found a surviving kindergarten-aged girl in the hallway. The officer sent her back into Room 8 — a crime scene with students and teachers shot dead. What police officer would do that?

10. Similarly, that morning, two Connecticut state troopers entered Room 10 and found an unharmed boy hiding in the bathroom. The troopers ordered the boy to stay in the room — a room with dead people. “That’s not police protocol.”

11. Having investigated and given expert testimony on many school shootings, Halbig says “I know what tears look like.” But the parents of slain Sandy Hook children, as we’ve noted here on FOTM, did not cry. (In the now famous case of Robbie Parker, the father of allegedly slain 6-year-old Emilie, he went from laughing and joking to pretending to choke back tears in the blink of an eye.)

12. Sandy Hook’s medical examiner Dr. Wayne Carver refused to let the parents see the bodies of their slain children, and instead gave them photos of the bodies, which is “unheard of.” Halbig knows about the inconsolable grief of parents and is himself a parent. Parents whose children had been shot dead “would kick the door down” demanding to see the bodies.

13. Why was Sandy Hook Elementary School torn down? This is not the case with any of the other schools where shootings had taken place, including Columbine School.

14. Who installed the new security system at SHES? This should be a matter of public record.

15. The shooting-to-death of 26 people would leave 45-60 gallons of blood. Who cleaned it up? What biohazard company was hired to clean the crime scene?

16. Why is there not even one lawsuit by a Sandy Hook parent against SHES for negligence? Halbig has never ever seen a school shooting without parents suing the school for negligence.

17. Why are there so many fund-raisers for the Sandy Hook shootings? Halbig: “I’ve never seen so many fund-raisers” in the case of Sandy Hook. One fundraising alone, by United Way, netted $17 million, from which “every [SH] parent got a big chunk of money.”

18. Alleged shooter Adam Lanza, 20, is said to have Asperger syndrome — a high-functioning (in academics) form of austism. Halbig points out, however, that like those with autism, children with Asperger have “very very poor motor skills” and “very poor muscle tone.” How did Asperger-afflicted Adam Lanza with “very poor muscle tone” carry a rifle, a shotgun, a handgun, and bullets? How did Asperger-afflicted Adam Lanza with “very very poor motor skills” shoot 26 people dead — not wounded — in less than five minutes, firing one bullet roughly every two seconds?

When the alleged massacre first happened, like all of us, Halbig was in shock. But a week after, he started asking questions.

About two months after the alleged massacre, in February 2013, invoking Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act, Halbig began phoning and sending letters to various local and state officials, asking the same questions that you’ve read above. The officials include the SHES superintendent, members of the school board, secretary to the school board, Newtown Chief of Police Michael Kehoe, and the Department of Education of the State of Connecticut.

You can read the letters he sent on Veterans Today.

To date, a year after he called and wrote to those officials, Halbig has received NOT EVEN ONE RESPONSE. No one returned his call. No one replied to his letters. Halbig: “If you refuse to respond to simple questions, there’s something wrong. Why would you not tell us what happened?”

Two months ago, at about 10 AM “right before Christmas,” two law enforcement officers — homicide investigators — from Lake County Sheriff’s Office (Halbig lives in Lake County, Florida) knocked on his door. The two officers were dressed in plain clothes.

They showed Halbig their badges; read to him the dossier they had on him (Halbig: “somebody did their homework”); and warned him that if he doesn’t “stop asking questions about Sandy Hook, the Connecticut state police will file felony charges of harassment against” him.

As Halbig put it, “If I don’t comply, bad things will happen to me.”

 
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When Can Police Demand Your ID?

From Flex Your Rights – LewRockwell.com –

You’ve probably seen old movies where the protagonist is approached by a Nazi or Soviet guard and ordered to “show your papers.” We know that’s a tell-tale sign of a police state. So if police ever ask you to show ID during your travels, it’s natural to feel violated.

In a free society, citizens who are minding their own business are not obligated to “show their papers” to police. In fact, in the United States there’s no law requiring citizens to carry identification of any kind.

So when can police ask for ID?

Carrying an ID is generally required if you’re driving a vehicle or a passenger on a commercial airline. These requirements have been upheld on the slippery premise that individuals who prefer not to carry ID can choose not to drive or fly.

From here, ID laws only get more complicated. In Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, the Supreme Court upheld state laws requiring citizens to reveal their identity when officers have reasonable suspicion to believe criminal activity may be taking place. Commonly known as “stop-and-identify” statutes, these laws permit police to arrest criminal suspects who refuse to identify themselves.

As of 2013, 24 states had stop-and-identify laws. Regardless of your state’s law, keep in mind that police can never compel you to identify yourself without reasonable suspicion to believe you’re involved in illegal activity.

 
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Hong Kong protests: Standoffs between pro-democracy protesters, opponents get ugly

By Associated Press – CBC News –

Standoffs between Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters and their antagonists grew increasingly ugly Saturday, as the two sides traded insults and at times taunted police. The city’s leader said streets occupied by the protest must be cleared by Monday.

“Democracy now! Democracy in Hong Kong!” thousands chanted as speakers from the movement seeking wider political reforms for the former British colony urged them to persist in their campaign. The rally in the downtown business district lasted for hours, with participants at times clapping and cheering as a stream of speakers and singers addressed them and performed popular songs.

“We are not seeking revolution. We just want democracy!” said Joshua Wong, a 17-year-old student leader. “We hope there will be no violence,” he said. “It would be unfortunate if this movement ended with bloodshed and violence.”

Although the mostly student-led protesters stuck to their pledges of non-violence, holding up their arms to show peaceful resistance, some shouted abuse at people who gathered to challenge their occupation of a major street in the blue-collar Mong Kok district, which is home to many migrants from the Chinese mainland.

“Go back to the mainland,” some shouted, cursing them in Cantonese.

Minor skirmishes broke out constantly, broken up by police or bystanders. Adding to the disorder, some residents dumped water from their apartments onto the people below.

The students accused police of failing to protect them from attacks on Friday by mobs intent on driving them away, shouting “Black Police!” — a reference to their claim that the police had allied with “black societies,” or criminal gangs, to clear out the protesters. The claim was vehemently denied by the government.

 
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ComputerCOP: ‘Internet Safety Software’ Police Agencies Distribute To Families Is Spyware

By Dave Maass – EFF.org –

Police chiefs, sheriffs, and district attorneys have handed out hundreds of thousands of copies of the disc to families for free at schools, libraries, and community events, usually as a part of an “Internet Safety” outreach initiative. The packaging typically features the agency’s official seal and the chief’s portrait, with a signed message warning of the “dark and dangerous off-ramps” of the Internet.

As official as it looks, ComputerCOP is actually just spyware, generally bought in bulk from a New York company that appears to do nothing but market this software to local government agencies.

The way ComputerCOP works is neither safe nor secure. It isn’t particularly effective either, except for generating positive PR for the law enforcement agencies distributing it. As security software goes, we observed a product with a keystroke-capturing function, also called a “keylogger,” that could place a family’s personal information at extreme risk by transmitting what a user types over the Internet to third-party servers without encryption. That means many versions of ComputerCOP leave children (and their parents, guests, friends, and anyone using the affected computer) exposed to the same predators, identity thieves, and bullies that police claim the software protects against.

 
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Indy Police Chief : We Are a Paramilitary Organization At War

By The Skeptical Libertarian –

It’s not just libertarians who believe that police have become militarized. It’s police themselves. Last week, Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite told his city council that he sees himself as a “soldier in an army” and his police force as “paramilitary organization” that is preparing for “battle.”

With the issue of police militarization still hot after the heavily-militarized response by the Ferguson, Missouri police, Hite’s comments come across as remarkably insensitive to the political climate. When asked by a city councilmember whether the police department needed a $29 million tax increase to fund its expansion, the police chief was terrifyingly blunt:

“I’m going to say something very candid to you my good friend, Councilman Robinson. As a 36-year veteran of law enforcement, never in my career have I seen public safety been politicized the way it has been in this country. Why I say that is because we have historically been a paramilitary organization…. I don’t know what we would do if we had to go to battle, and we had to make a determination, based on past practices, whether or not we wanted to go into battle. … I am a soldier in an army. We serve you in that way.” (2:39:00)

Let’s catalog these comments away for the next time there’s a large scale public disturbance in Indianapolis and see how the police force responds. The Rise of the Warrior Cop, to use the title of Radley Balko’s book, has not gone unnoticed within law enforcement. Rather, it has been encouraged and indeed used to justify an ever-expanding amount of resources being devoted to fighting various “wars” on citizens, whether in the name of eliminating “guns,” drugs, or terrorism.

Hite’s comments were also out-of-touch given the local news events as well. Two Indianapolis police officers were arrested just this month for beating a man unconscious outside a bar. Hite was reported to have said at a news conference that “days like this make us wonder how we’ve lost our way.” Given the stated ethos of his department, I, for one, am no longer wondering.

 
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